China Unveils Restrictions on Unapproved Religions

Sep 14, 2017

China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs issued new regulations regarding unapproved religious communities. The regulations impose severe “fines for persons associated with underground religious communities not authorized by the state, which have no legal standing in the country.” Fines may range from 20,000 to 300,000 yuan. China’s communist government fears that freedom of religion is a threat to “national security and public health, [a threat] to ethnic and national unity, and the possibility of terrorist activities.” The number of Christians in China may now be greater than “the number of members in the Chinese Communist party.” “There are an estimated 100 million Christians in China.” There are 85 million members of China’s Communist Party. Christianity is growing the fastest in “unofficial Protestant ‘house churches’ and in the underground Catholic church.’”