Policy of Freedom of Religious Belief
Constitution of China specifies: Citizens of the PRC enjoy freedom
of religious belief. No
state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens
to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may anyone
discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe
in, any religion.
Criminal Law of China, the General Principles of the Civil Law,
the National Minority Regional Autonomy Law, the Education Law,
the Labor Law, the Electoral Law of the People’s Congresses, and
the Organic Law Governing Villagers’ Committees include corresponding
articles stipulating that citizens’ freedom of religious belief
should be protected, and that citizens who believe in, or do not
believe in, any religion should not be discriminated against.
policy of freedom of religious belief adopted by the Chinese government
has the following basic contents:
and protecting freedom of religious belief. In China, every citizen
enjoys the freedom to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion.
Within a religion, every Chinese citizen has the freedom to believe
in any denomination or division. Each citizen has the freedom to
adopt or reject a religious belief. This means that believing in
or not believing in religion is a citizen’s personal affair, and
no state organ, public organization or individual may put pressure
on any citizen in this regard. All citizens are completely equal,
are entitled to equal rights and at the same time must perform the
duties prescribed by law, whether or not they are religious believers.
normal religious activities. All normal religious activities held
at special sites for religious activities or in believers’ homes
according to religious custom shall be managed by religious organizations
and believers, and shall be protected by the law. No one shall interfere
with them. The Regulations on the Management of Sites for Religious
Activities promulgated by the Chinese government specify: The site
for religious activities shall be managed by the administration
organization of the site autonomously. Its lawful rights and interests
and normal religious activities held at the site shall be protected
by the law. Whoever infringes upon the lawful rights and interests
of a site for religious activities shall bear legal responsibility.
religions are equal. In China, no religion occupies a privileged
position. The Chinese government treats all religions equally, without
discrimination. All religions shall respect
each other and co-exist in harmony. In China, religion is
separated from political power and from education too. State power
shall not use religion in its own service; and religion shall not
interfere with the state’s administration, judicature and education.
religions adopt the principle of independence and self-management.
Chinese religions shall be run solely by the religious organizations,
clergy and believers themselves. Chinese religious affairs and organizations
shall not be controlled by foreign forces. Chinese religious organizations
are willing to conduct friendly exchanges with their counterparts
in other countries to strengthen mutual understanding and friendship.
But such exchanges must be based on complete equality and mutual respect.