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New regulations mean matters of faith will have to serve the interests of the Communist Party

China is tightening control over religions

Chinese Catholics outside the Sheshan Basilica in Shanghai, which was built in 1863. Amendments to China's Regulation for Religious Affairs is being viewed by experts as a way for the Communist Party to reinforce its control over religions. ( photo) reporter, Hong Kong

September 16, 2016

China's government has introduced amendments to religious regulations that will tighten state control on both legal and illegal faith groups, according to religious scholars in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The State Council Legislative Affairs Office released a draft bill to revise the Regulations for Religious Affairs (RRA) on Sept. 7. They introduced 26 new articles, an increase from 48 to 74.

Ying Fuk-tsang, director of the Divinity School at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, points out that Article 6 of the bill added more organizational units in different levels to control religious affairs.

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