China increases surveillance of pastors
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has voiced concern about measures adopted by the Chinese government this year to further tighten state control over government-sanctioned churches, including requiring full support of the Chinese Communist Party and banning religious activity by house churches.
The regulations, called the Measures on the Management of Religious Clergy, supplement the revised 2018 Regulations on Religious Affairs.
The new regulations went into effect earlier this year and reflect the Chinese government’s abuses targeting the clergy of religious groups, the congressionally mandated bipartisan panel warned in a factsheet published last month.
The regulations limit the freedom of clergy members of the five state-sanctioned religious groups in China — the Buddhist Association of China, the Chinese Taoist Association, the Islamic Association of China, the Protestant Three-Self Patriotic Movement and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. They also ban religious activity by independent clergy who are not part of the five state-sanctioned religious groups.