Measures on the Administration of Foreigners' Group Religious Activities in the Mainland Territory of the P.R.C. (Draft for Solicitation of Comments)

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The State Administration for Religious Affairs has drafted the "P.R.C. Measures on Managing Foreigners' Group Religious Activities Within Mainland China (Draft for Solicitation of Comments)" on the basis of the "P.R.C. Provisions on Managing Foreigners' Group Religious Activities Within Mainland China" to safeguard the freedom of religious belief of foreigners on the mainland of the People's Republic of China and to preserve the societal public interest, and is hereby publicly releasing it to the society for comments. The public may give feedback through the following channels and methods:

1.Log on to the China Law Information network (Web address: http://www.chinalaw.gov.cn), enter the main menu of the "Legislative Opinion Collection" comments panel.

2.Email:zhengfasi@sara.gov.cn

3. Address: Xicheng District, Beijing, No. 44 Beihaibeiyan, National Bureau of Religious Affairs Political Legal Department (Zip code: 100009).

The deadline for comments and feedback is June 7, 2018.

 

State Bureau of Religious Affairs

2018/5/7

Article 1: The following measures are formulated on the basis of the "Provisions on the Administration of Religious Activities by Foreigners within the Mainland Territory of the People's Republic of China", so as to respect and protect foreigners living in the mainland territory of the People's Republic of China,'s freedom of religious belief, to satisfy the requirements of foreigners' group religious activities, and to regulate foreigners' group religious activities.

Article 2: "Foreigners" as used in these Measures, refers to persons in the mainland territory of china that do not possess Chinese nationality, as provided by the "People's Republic of China nationality Law"

"Foreigners' group religious activities" as used in these Measures, refers to religious activities organized or participated in by foreigners, that have 50 people or more.

Article 3: Foreigners' group religious activities shall be conducted in temples, Taoist temples, mosques, and churches (hereinafter, "temples and churches') that have been recognized and lawfully registered by a religious affairs department of a people's governments at the county level or above; and where churches and temples lack the capacity, or where there are no such temples and churches, they activities may be conducted in a temporary site for foreigners' group religious activities (hereinafter "temporary site") permitted by the religious affairs department of the provincial-level people's government.

Article 4: Foreigners conducting group religious activities in temples and churches in accordance with these Measures are to receive the protection of law.

Article 5: Foreigners applying to conduct group religious activities in temples and churches, or applying for temporary sites, shall elect three or more organizers, and the organizers shall have no negative records and be able to bear the relevant legal responsibility.

Foreign members of diplomatic representative offices or consulate bodies based in China, as well as other foreigners enjoying privileges and immunities, must not serve as organizers.

Organizers of group religious activities at temples and churches or temporary sites must not concurrently serve as the organizer of group religious activities for other temples and churches or temporary sites.

Article 6: Foreigners that will hold groups religious activities at temples and churches shall have the organizers submit applications to the areas' districted-city (region, prefecture, or banner) level religious group.

Based on the application and the circumstances of local temples and churches, districted-city (region, prefecture, or banner) level religious group are to propose temples and churches as special venues for group religious activities held by foreigners, and after obtaining the consent of those temples and churches, report this for recording to the religious affairs department of the local people's government at the districted-city level.

After recording with the religious affairs department of the people's governments at the districted-city level, the county level people's government temples and churches shall be informed.

Article 7: Temples and churches providing special venue services for foreigners' group religious activities shall sign agreements with the organizers, clearly indicating the time arrangement, activity methods, participant scale, security measures, and other such matters, and report the agreement to the County Level people's government's religious affairs department for recording.

Foreigners holding group religious activities in temples and churches shall respect the rules of those temples and churches, and comply with the administration of those temples and churches.

Article 8: Foreigners holding group religious activities in temples and churches, are to have those temples and churches arrange for Chinese religious professionals to preside; where it is truly necessary to have foreign religious professionals preside over religious activities, the temples and churches shall report this for recording with the religious affairs department for the local people's government at the county level.

Article 9: Foreigners applying for temporary sites shall meet the following conditions:

(1) The temples and churches in the foreigners' residential area cannot provide special venue service or there are no such temples and churches.

(2) Buildings and facilities proposed as temporary sites meet legal requirements for fire safety, construction safety, and so forth, and are appropriate for carrying out group religious activities;

(3) Have a reasonable layout and not impeding the ordinary lives and production of surrounding units and residents.

Article 10: Where in the same county-level administrative region there are group religious activities conducted that share a common religious belief and use a common language, in principle, only one temporary site is to be approved.

Article 11: Applications for temporary sites shall complete a "Application Form for Temporary Sites for Foreigners' Group Religious Activities in the Mainland Territory of the People's Republic of China", and submit the following materials at the same time:

(1) The descriptions of the major texts of the religions believed by the foreigners and their basic tennets, teachings, and history;

(2) The name, sex, nationality, date of birth, passport number, visa or residence certificate number, expiration date, current residence, and so forth of the foreigners who intend to regularly participate in group religious activities at the temporary site;

(3) An explanation issued by the districted-city (region, prefecture, or banner) religious groups of the foreigners' residence, or by the provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality religious groups, on local temples and churches being unable to provide special venue services; but where there are no such temples and churches, there is no need to provide explanations of this matter;

(4) Valid proofs that the foreigners have the right to use the buildings or facilities proposed as a temporary site, as well as proofs that the buildings or facilities meet requirements such as for fire safety and construction safety, issued by the legally authorized departments or bodies;

(5) A promissory letter signed by the organizers promising that the activities in the temporary sites will obey China's laws, regulations, and rules, and will not impede the normal production and livelihood of surrounding units and residents, and that they will accept the administration of the local people's governments' religious affairs department;

(6) Proofs that the organizers have no negative records separately issued by the country of their nationality and the relevant Chinese institutions, and the original copy and copy of the organizers' passport and valid visa or residence permits;

(7) The time arrangements, activity methods, participant scale, safety measures and emergency response plans for the group religious activities.

The documents submitted shall use Chinese (where primary texts have Chinese versions, provide the Chinese version, where there is no version, a Chinese summary is to be provided concurrently with the foreign language version); and where the proof documents provided are in a foreign language, a Chinese translation shall be attached and sent with them.

The State Bureau of Religious Affairs is to draft a template "Application Form for Temporary Sites for Foreigners' Group Religious Activities in the Mainland Territory of the People's Republic of China".

Article 12: Applications to establish temporary sites are to be made by the organizers to the religious affairs department of the county-level people's governments for the area where the temporary site will be. The religious affairs departments of the county-level people's governments are to put forward opinions and report incrementally up to the provincial-level people's government religious affairs departments. After the religious affairs departments of people's government at the provincial level have solicited opinions from provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality religious groups, they are to make either an approval or non-approval decision.

Where the religious affairs department of the county-level people's government finds that permitting the temporary location involves public interest or major interest relationships between the applicant and others, they shall make an announcement in an appropriate manner and hold a hearing.

The time limits for making administrative licensing decisions shall be implemented in accordance with the relevant provisions of the "Law of the People's Republic of China on Administrative Licensing".

Article 13: Where provincial-level people's governments' religious affairs departments make approval decisions, they shall deliver the administrative approval decision documents to the applicants within 10 days of making the decision, and concurrently send a copy to the religious affairs department for the districted-city level and county-level.

Article 14: In holding group religious activities at temporary sites, the number of participants must not exceed the maximum capacity that the temporary site can safely accommodate.

Each time a group religious event is held, at least one organizer shall be responsible for site management.

Article 15: Where foreigners holding group religious activities at temporary sites ask Chinese religious professionals to preside, organizers may issue an invitation to religious groups in the districted-city (region, prefecture, banner) where the temporary site is located, and the religious groups are to arrange for appropriate religious professionals to preside.

Article 16: Except in the situations provided for in articles 8 and 15, the group religious activities held by foreigners in temples and churches and temporary sites, must not have Chinese citizens participate.

Article 17: Temporary sites must not have religious symbols set up outside.

Article 18: Foreigners' group religious activities shall accept the management from the religious affairs department of people's governments at the county level or above.

Temples and churches providing special venue services for foreigners' group religious activities, or parties providing temporary sides, shall proactively learn about the circumstances of the foreigners' group religious activity, and where discovering conduct in violation of China's laws, regulations, or rules, shall stop it and promptly report it to the religious affairs department of the people's governments for the location of the temples and churches or the temporary sites, or to other relevant departments.

Article 19: Where a change of organizer is required for group religious activities at temples and churches or temporary sites, it shall be recorded with the religious affairs department of the county-level people's government 10 days before the change. The organizers following the change shall meet the requirements provided for in article 5 of these Measures, and provide the materials provided for in items (5),(6) of the first paragraph of article 11 of these Measures.

Where it is necessary to change the time arrangements or activity methods of group religious activities at temporary sites, the organizers shall give written notice to the religious affairs department of the county-level people's government for the location of the temporary site 10 days before the changes.

Article 20: The effective period for temporary sites is 1 year at most. Where after the period is completed it is necessary to extend the effective period for the temporary site, the applicant shall apply to the religious affairs department of the county-level people's governments for the area where the temporary site within 30-60 days before the completion of the period. The written application should include the temporary sites' compliance with laws regulations and rules, changes of organizers, the number of participants, and changes in the timing or manner of activities, and at the same time submit the materials provided for in items (2), (4), (5), and (6) of the first paragraph of article 11.

After the religious affairs department for the county-level people's government receives the application, it is to follow the relevant provisions of these Measures to submit review opinions and report them up to the provincial-level people's governments' religious affairs department that made the original approval decision for a decision.

Article 21: Where foreigners holding group religious activities in temples and churches violate the ""Provisions on the Administration of Religious Activities by Foreigners within the Mainland Territory of the People's Republic of China", the "Specific Implementation Measures on the Provisions on the Administration of Religious Activities by Foreigners within the Mainland Territory of the People's Republic of China" , or the provisions of these Measures, the religious affairs department of the people's governments at the county level or above are to discourage or stop it; and where discouragement is not heeded, order that the organizers be recalled; and where the circumstances are serious, the religious affairs department of the people's governments at the county level or above is to order the temples and churches to stop providing special venue services to foreigners' group religious activities.

Article 22: Where foreigners holding group religious activities in temporary sites violate the ""Provisions on the Administration of Religious Activities by Foreigners within the Mainland Territory of the People's Republic of China", the "Specific Implementation Measures on the Provisions on the Administration of Religious Activities by Foreigners within the Mainland Territory of the People's Republic of China" , or the provisions of these Measures, the religious affairs department of the people's governments at the county level or above are to discourage or stop it; and where discouragement is not heeded, order that the organizers be recalled; and where the circumstances are serious, the religious affairs department of the provincial level people's government are to order them to stop activities at the temporary sites.

Article 23: Where foreigners' group religious activities violate other legal provisions, punishments are given in accordance with relevant provisions of law.

Article 24: Temples and churches providing special venue services for foreigners' group religious activities, or parties providing temporary sites, violate laws and legal provisions in the course of providing services, punishment is given in accordance with laws and regulations.

Article 25: In administrative disctricts that are directly governed municipalities, the duties that these Measures provide for districted-cities' (regions', prefectures' or banners') religious groups, are to be performed by the religious groups of districts (counties) in the directly governed municipalities, and the duties to be performed by the religious affairs department of county-level people's governments and the religious affairs department of districted-city level people's governments are to be performed by the religious affairs departments of the directly governed municipalities' district (county) people's governments.

Article 26: Where districted-cities (regions, prefectures, banners) and directly governed municipality districts (counties) have no such religious groups, the relevant duties provided for in these measures are to be performed by provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality religious groups. Where provinces, autonomous regions, or directly governed municipalities do not have such religious groups, the relevant duties provided for in these measures are to be performed by national religious groups.

Article 27: These Measures take effect on __/__/20__.

 

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