Measures on the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services (Draft for Solicitation of Comments)

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【Sources】http://www.mzb.com.cn/html/report/180930902-1.htm
【End of Period for Comments and Feedback】 2018/10/9

Chapter I: General Provisions

Article 1: These measures are drafted on the basis of the "P.R.C. Cybersecurity Law", the "Measures on the Administration of Internet Information Services", the "Regulations on Religious Affairs" and other relevant laws and regulations, so as to regulate Internet religious information service activities, to preserve religious peace and social harmony.

Article 2: These Measures apply to Internet Religious Information Services engaged in within the [mainland] territory of the People’s Republic of China.

"Internet religious information" as referred to in these measures refers to information involving religion, including that relating to religious doctrine, religious knowledge, religious culture, or religious activities, that is transmitted as text, images, audio or video through means of Internet websites, applications, forums, blogs, microblogs, public accounts, instant messaging, or online live-streaming.

"Internet Religious Information Services" as referred to in these Measures, refers to legal person organizations that are established in the [mainland] territory of the P.R.C. or organizations that are not legal persons, that publish internet religious information or provide a platform for transmission of internet religious information.

Article 3: Those engaged in Internet Religious Information Services shall abide by the Constitution, laws, regulations and rules; practice the core socialist values; actively the adaptation of religion to socialist society; and preserve the unity of the country, ethnic unity, and social stability,

Article 4: The state supports use of the Internet Religious Information Services for publicity of the Party's theory on religion and policy directives, as well as laws, regulations, and rules involving religion; and for carrying out academic research on religion, and introducing religious knowledge.

Article 5: The administration of Internet Religious Information Services is to adhere the principles of protecting what is lawful, prohibiting what is unlawful, suppressing extremism, resisting infiltration, and fighting crime.

Article 6: The religious affairs departments are to lawfully conduct oversight and management of Internet Religious Information Services; the network information departments, competent departments for telecommunications, public security departments, national security organs, and so forth are lawfully responsible for administrative management efforts within the scope of their respective duties.

The religious affairs departments at the provincial level and above, together with the network information departments, competent departments for telecommunications, public security departments, national security organs, and so forth, shall establish coordination mechanisms for the administration of Internet Religious Information Services.

Chapter II: Approvals of Internet Religious Information Services

Article 7: Those applying to provide Internet Religious Information Services shall meet the following conditions:

(1) The applicants are a legal person organization lawfully established in the [mainland] territory of the People's Republic of China or a non-legal person organization; and the applicants' legal representatives or principle responsible person are a citizen of the People's Republic of China and a resident of the mainland.

(2) They have information verification personnel familiar with the State's policies and regulations on religion;

(3) They have sound systems for management of Internet Religious Information Services;

(4) They have complete information security management systems and safe and containable technological protection measures;

(5) They have venues, facilities, and funds appropriate for their services;

(6) applicants and their legal representatives or principle responsible persons have no criminal record or conduct in violation of state religious policies and regulations in the last 3 years;

Foreign [non-mainland] organizations or individuals, and organizations they establish in the mainland, must not engage in Internet Religious Information Services in the mainland.

Article 8: Those engaging in Internet Religious Information Services shall submit an application to the provincial level religious affairs department for their area, complete an 'Internet Religious Information Services Application Form", and provide the following materials:

(1) Documents showing the applicants' lawful establishment or registration and filing, as well as identify documents for the legal representatives or principle responsible persons;

(2) An explanation of religious information verification personnel's professional abilities;

(3) The Internet Religious Information Services management system, information security management systems and technological protection measures;

(4) The venues, facilities, and funds to be used for engaging in Internet Religious Information Services;

(5) Written assurances that applicants and their legal representatives or principle responsible persons have no criminal record or violations of state religious policies and regulations in the last 3 years;

(6) Materials related to the proposed columns and functions to be provided, and domain name registration.

Those applying for broadcast platform service, shall also submit the platform's system of rules for managing users, user agreement models, and mechanisms for handling complaints and reports.

The State Bureau of Religious Affairs is to draft the "Internet Religious Information Services Application Form" and user agreement models involving Internet Religious Information Services' content.

Nationwide religious groups and religious schools that they organize engaging in Internet Religious Information Services shall submit an application to the State Bureau of Religious Affairs.

Article 9: The names of Internet Religious Information Services, except where they are the same as the applicants, must not contain the words "China", "Chinese", "National"; and those other than religious groups, religious schools, and religious activity sites must not use religious names such as "Buddhist", "Taoist", "Islamic", "Catholic", or "Christian", and must not use the names of religious groups, religious schools, religious activity sites, and so forth.

Article 10: The provincial level religious affairs departments shall make a decision to approve or not approve an application within 20 days of receiving it. Where a decision to approve is made, an "Internet Religious Information Services License" is to be be issued; where a decision not to approve is made, the applicant shall be notified in writing and informed of the reasons.

The State Bureau of Religious Affairs is to print the "Internet Religious Information Services Licences" .

After obtaining "Internet Religious Information Services Licences, formalities for the relevant state provisions on internet information services management shall still be completed.

Article 11: Those engaging in Internet Religious Information Services shall display their "Internet Religious Information Services License" number in a conspicuous place on their service platform.

Article 12: Where the name, service types, or service programs indicated on the "Internet Religious Information Services Licences" change, this shall be reported to to the organ that issued the license for approval; other changes shall be reported for filing in advance to the organ that issued the licence.

Article 13: Where Internet Religious Information Services are terminated, they shall handle de-registration formalities within 30 days of the termination with the organ that issued their license, and then handle relevant formalities with the competent departments for telecommunications.

Article 14: 'Internet Religious Information Service Licenses' are valid for 3 years. Those who seek to continue to engage in Internet Religious Information Services after the validity period is complete shall submit an application to the organ that issued their license 30 days prior to the completion of the validity period.

Chapter III: Administration of Internet Religious Information Services

Article 15: Internet Religious Information Services must not contain any of the following conduct or content:

(1) Use of religion to incite subversion of state sovereignty, to oppose the leadership of the Communist Party, to overturn the Socialist system, to divide the nation, to undermine national unity and social stability, or to advocate extremism, terrorism, ethnic separatism, and religious fanaticism;

(2) Attacks on the state's religious policies and regulations;

(3) Undermining the peaceful relations between different religions, groups within the same religion, or between religious and non-religious citizens;

(4) Discrimination against or insults to religious or non-religious citizens, or harm to religious or non-religious citizen's lawful rights and interests;

(5) contravening the principle of religions' independence and self-governance;

(6) Engaging in unlawful religious activities or facilitating unlawful religious activities;

(7) Conducting commercial publicity, sales or distribution, or delivery of religious items, publications of internal religious materials, or illegal publications;

(8) using religion to harm citizens' physical health, or using trickery and coercion to obtain assets;

(9) Inciting minors to participate in religious activities;

(10) Using religions to obstruct the implementation of systems prescribed by state laws, such for justice, education, marriage, or social management;

(11) Posing as religious professionals to carry out activities;

(12) Using religion to propagate heresy and feudal superstition;

(13) Establishing religious organizations, setting up religious schools and religious activity sites, recruiting followers;

(14) Violating the "Religious Affairs Regulations", as well as other relevant laws, regulations, and rules.

Article 16: Religious groups, religious schools, and religious activity sites that have obtained "Internet Religious Information Services Licenses" may have have religious professionals preach on online platforms that they have established themselves, and interpret religious doctrine and rules with content conductive to social harmony, the progress of the times, and healthy civilization, leading religious citizens in proper thought and action. Preaching is to implement a real-name management system.

Other organizations or individuals must not preach on the Internet, or forward or link to related content.

Article 17: Religious schools that have obtained "Internet Religious Information Services Licenses" may carry out religious education and training aimed at the religious school's students and religious professionals, on online platforms that they establish themselves; and education and training is to implement a real-name management system.

Other organizations or individuals must not carry out religious education and training on the Internet.

Article 18: Organizations and individuals must not transmit text, images, A/V, etc. of religious activities such as Buddhist prayer, burning incense, ordainment, chanting scripture, pray, mass, or baptisms, in any manner live or recorded .

Article 19: Organizations and individuals fund-raise in the name of religious schools on the internet.

Charitable organizations founded by religious groups, religious schools, and religious activity sites that carry out charitable fundraising on the Internet shall follow the relevant provisions of the "P.R.C. Charity Law".

Article 20: Those providing a internet religious information broadcast platform shall sign an agreement with the platform's registered users, and verify and store users' real identity information.

Article 21: Those engaging in Internet Religious Information Services shall strengthen management of service content and the broadcast platform to discover and handle illegal and harmful information, and shall immediately employ methods to stop the transmission and delete or otherwise dispose of information that violates articles 3, 15, 16, 17, 18, or 19 of these Measures, and prevent the information spreading, store relevant records, and report to the relevant departments.

Article 22: Where Internet information broadcast platforms have not obtained "Internet Religious Information Services Licenses", they shall strengthen management of registered users, and prohibit them from publishing religious information on the platform.

Article 23: All levels of religious affairs department shall strengthen routine guidance, oversight, and inspections of Internet Religious Information Services; establish archives of violations, list of untrustworthiness, and systems for having a talk with Internet Religious Information Services; accept reports on violations of laws and regulations in the provisions of Internet Religious Information Services, research and evaluate internet religious information, and promptly transfer leads on violations of laws and regulations to the network information departments, competent departments for telecommunications, public security departments, and national security organs.

Article 24: Network information departments shall strengthen content management for Internet Religious Information Services, lawfully disposing of internet religious information that violates laws or regulations.

Article 25: The competent departments for telecommunications shall strengthen oversight of market access, internet access, and network resources for Internet Religious Information Services, and lawfully cooperate in disposing of conduct of those engaging in Internet Religious Information Services that violates laws and regulations.

Article 26: Public security departments shall lawfully strengthen security oversight management for Internet Religious Information Services, preventing and handling unlawful and criminal activities in Internet Religious Information Services.

Article 27: The national security organs shall lawfully prevent and handle foreign institutions, organizations, and individuals, as well as domestic institutions, organizations, and individuals colluding with them, to use the religion to conduct activities that endanger national security.

Chapter IV: Legal Responsibility

Article 28: Where Internet Religious Information Services are still provided without a license, exceeding the scope of the license, after licenses expire, or where there service process no longer comply with the license requirements, the religious affairs departments at the provincial level or above is to give a warning or order corrections be made within a set time; where corrections are refused, order that service be stopped and close down websites in conjunction with the competent departments for telecommunications; and where a crime is constituted, criminal responsibility is pursued in accordance with law.

Article 29: Where those engaging in Internet Religious Information Services violate the relevant provisions of these measures, the religious affairs department at the provincial level or higher are to give warnings and order that corrections be be made in a set time; where circumstances are serious, close websites in conjunction with the network information departments and competent departments for telecommunications; and where a crime is constituted, criminal responsibility is pursued in accordance with law; and where a crime is constituted, criminal responsibility is pursued in accordance with law.

Article 30: Where registered platform users broadcast illegal religious information and the circumstances are serious, the religious affairs department at the provincial level or above are to order the internet religious information broadcast platform provider to de-register the registered platform user's account, and given punishments in conjunction with the public security departments and other departments in accordance with law; where a crime is constituted, criminal responsibility is pursued in accordance with law.

Article 31: Where violations of these Measures simultaneously violate the 'Measures on the Administration of Internet Information Services' or State provisions on the management of Internet news information services, internet audiovisual program services, network publication services, and so forth, the religious affairs departments at the provincial level or higher are handle it in conjunction with the network information departments, competent departments for telecommunications, departments for radio, film and television, departments for the administration of publications, and so forth.

Article 32: Where state personnel abuse their authority, play favorites, neglect their duties or twist the law for personal gain during the management of Internet Religious Information Services, they shall be punished in accordance with law.

Chapter V: Supplementary Provisions

Article 33: Those engaged in Internet Religious Information Services before these measures take effect shall follow these Measures to complete the permit formalities within 6 months of these measures taking effect.

Article 34: The State Bureau of Religious Affairs, the State Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information, the Ministry of Public Security, and the Ministry of State Security are responsible for the interpretation of these Measures.

Article 35: These Measures will take effect on X,X 2018.

 

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