is a right enjoyed by all Chinese citizens. Every citizen
has the right to believe or disbelieve, the freedom
to renounce or embrace this or that religious faith
and sect, and the right to practice a particular religion
or promote atheism. The government prohibits interference
in the normal religious life of the Chinese people.
The ethnic minorities can maintain their temples, mosques
and churches; and famous temples, mosques and monasteries
are now under state protection, with the government
responsible for their renovation and repair. The government
maintains that religious activities should be conducted
in temples, mosques and churches, and people who disbelieve
in religion may not encroach upon these religious grounds
to promote atheism.
The criminal code
of the state stipulates that government employees who
unlawfully deprive citizens of their freedom to conduct
normal religious activities shall either be taken into
custody or punished with a prison sentence of less than
two years in serious cases.