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

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Chapter I: General Provisions

Article 1: These Detailed Implementation Measures are drafted on the basis of the "Measures on the Administration of Foreigners' Group Religious Activities in the Mainland Territory of the P.R.C."

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

Article 3: Foreigners religious activities in China as used in these Measures, refers to religious ceremonies organized or participated in by foreigners in mainland China in accordance with their religious faith, as well as religious exchanges conducted with Chinese religious groups, religious schools, religious activity sites, and religious professionals.

Article 4: China respects the religious freedom of foreigners in its mainland territory and protects their religious activities in accordance with law.

Article 5: Foreigners in China who conduct relgious activities shall obey China's laws, regulations, and rules; respect China's principle of religious independence and self-management; and accept the lawful management of the Chinese government; and must not use religion to harm China's national interests, the societal public interest, or citizens' lawful rights and interests, and must not be contrary to China's public order and good custom.

Chapter II: Religious Activity

Article 6: Foreigners in China may participate in religious activities in religious activity sites including temples, Taoist temples, mosques, churches (hereinafter temples and churches), and other religious activity sites.

Article 7: Foreigners in China's group religious activities shall be conducted in temples and churches with the temples and churches providing special services; and where temples and churches cannot provide special services the activities may be conducted in a temporary site for foreigners' group religious activities (hereinafter "temporary site") approved by the religious affairs department of the provincial-level people's government.

"Foreigners in China's group religious activities " refers to religious activities organized by foreigners in China with a specified number of foreigners participating, but does not include the situations provided for in article 20 of these Measures.

The specified number provided for in the preceding paragraph is to be determined by the religious affairs departments of provincial-level people's governments.

Article 8: Foreigners in China applying to organize group religious activities in temples and churches, or to setup temporary sites, shall elect three or more organizers.

The organizers shall obey China's laws, regulations, and rules; have no words and deeds hostile to China, have no negative records and be able to bear the relevant legal responsibility, and have at least 6 months remaining on their residence permit.

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.

Article 9: Foreigners in China who will organize group religious activities at temples and churches shall have the organizers submit written applications to the areas' municipal (region, prefecture, or league) religious groups.

Based on the application and the circumstances of local temples and churches, cities (region, prefecture, or leagues) level religious group is to propose temples and churches as special venues for group religious activities held by foreigners and 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 for the relevant temples and churches shall be informed. Where temples and churches don't have the capacity to provide special services, the municipal (region, prefecture, league) religious group shall respond to the organizers in writing. The organizers may apply to set up a temporary site in accordance with these Measures.

Article 10: Temples and churches providing special services for foreigners' group religious activities shall sign an agreement with the organizers indicating the activity's time, manner of activity, number of activities, number of attendees, safety measures, both party's rights and obligations, legal responsibility, and other such matters, and report this for filing with the religious affairs department of the districted-city level people's government for the area within 10 days of signing the agreement.

Article 11: Foreigners in China organizing 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 districted city level.

Article 12: Applications to set up temporary sites shall meet the following conditions:

(1) the activity proposed for the temporary site is able to comply with China's laws, regulations, and rules; will not impede the normal production, study, or lives of surrounding units and residents; and will accept the management of the local religious affairs department.

(2) have the right to use the buildings and facilities of the proposed temporary site;

(3) The buildings and facilities of the proposed temporary site comply with planning, construction, fire prevention, and building safety regulations, and are appropriate for conducting group religious activities.

Article 13: In applications to set up temporary sites, the organizers shall complete an Application Form for Temporary Sites for Foreigners' Group Religious Activities, and submit the following materials to the religious affairs department for the religious affairs department of the local provincial-level people's government at the same time:

(1) The written response issued by the municipal (region, prefecture, league) religious group saying that temples and churches do not have the capacity to provide special services.

(2) The main texts of the religion they believe in, and an explanation of the religion's basic circumstances;

(3) Explanations of the names, nationalities, residential addresses, valid visa or residence permit, of foreigners in China who will participate in the group religious activities;

(4) A written pledge from the organizers;

(5) The original and a copy of the organizers' passports and valid visa or residence permits;

(6) The time arrangements, activity methods, number of activities, number of participants, safety measures, and other explanations of the group religious activity;

(7) Materials showing the right to use the buildings and facilities at the proposed temporary site, as well as materials showing that those buildings and facilities comply with national fire and building safety regulations.

All materials that the preceding paragraph requires to be submitted, other than the primary religious texts provided for in item (2), shall be in Chinese. The religious affairs departments shall protect information related to individual privacy in the materials.

In the written pledge provided for in item (4) of the first paragraph, the organizers shall pledge as a representative of the foreigners in China who will attend the activity proposed for the temporary site that the activity is able to comply with China's laws, regulations, and rules; will not impede the normal production, study, or lives of surrounding units and residents; will accept the management of the local religious affairs department; and that the exterior of the temporary site will not set up religious symbols. All organizers shall sign the written pledge.

The State Bureau of Religious Affairs is to draft a template application Form for Temporary Sites for Foreigners' Group Religious Activities.

Article 14: After the religious affairs departments of provincial-level people's governments receive applications to set up temporary sites, they are solicit the opinions of the religious affairs departments of the county-level people's government, districted city level people's government, and provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality religious group for the area where the temporary site is to be set up, and make a decision on whether to aprove within 20 days of receiving the application.

Normally only one temporary site is to be approved within a County Level administrative region fo a single faith where a single language can be used to conduct group religious activities.

The effective period for temporary sites is 2 years at most. Where one still wants to conduct group religious activities at a temporary site after the period is complete, a new application shall be made in accordance with article 13 of these Measures at 30 days before the period ends.

Article 15: During group religious activities at temporary sites, at least one organizer shall be responsible for site management.

Organizers shall strengthen safety management for temporary sites, and the number of persons participating in activities must not exceed the number of people indicated on the temporary site approval documents.

Article 16: Where religious activities at temporary sites need to invite Chinese religious professionals to preside, the organizers shall submit it to religious groups in the city (region, prefecture, league) where the temporary site is located, and the religious groups are to arrange for appropriate religious professionals to preside.

Article 17: Except for Chinese religious professionals arranged or invited to preside over religious activities in accordance with these Measures, group religious activities organized by foreigners in China are limited to participation by foreigners in China.

Article 18: Temples and churches and temporary site buildings and facilities providing special venue services for foreigners in China's group religious activities, or parties providing temporary sides, shall proactively learn about the circumstances of the foreigners' group religious activity, and where they discover conduct in violation of China's laws, regulations, or rules, shall promptly report it to the religious affairs department or other relevant departments for the location .

Article 19: Where the organizers need to be changed, it shall be reported for filing to the religious affairs department for the local districted-city or provincial-level level people's government 10 days before the change. The new organizers shall meet the requirements of article 8 of these Measures, and provide the materials provided for in item (5) of the first paragraph of article 13.

Where there are changes to the timing arrangements, activity methods, or the number of participants at a temporary site, an application to make the change shall be submitted to the religious affairs department of the provincial-level people's government.

Article 20: With the consent of the religoius group for their area, foreigners in China may invite Chinese religious professionals to conduct religious ceremonies such as baptisms, weddings, funerals, and Bhudist or Taoist rites, in accordance with religious custom.

Article 21: Foreigners in China must not conduct the following activities involving religion:

(1) Interfering with or dominating the affairs of Chinese religious organizations, religious colleges, or religious activity sites, or interfering with the identification and management of religious professionals;

(2) Establishing religious groups and setting up bodies for handling religious affairs, religious activity sites, or religious schools;

(3) advocating extremist religious ideology, or supporting or funding religious extremism or illegal activities, using religion to undermine the unity of the Chinese nation, ethnic unity, or to conduct terrorist activities;

(4) Illegally proselytizing among Chinese citizens, recruiting followers, or accepting religious donations from Chinese citizens;

(5) Carrying out religious education and training;

(6) Other illegal activities involving religion.

Chapter III: Religious Exchanges

Article 22: Foreigners in China may comduct collegial religious exchanges and cultural or academic communication with religoius groups, religious schools, and religious activity sites through the National Chinese Religious Groups or the provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality religious groups.

Article 23: Foreign religious professionals entering China as religious professionals may preach or give sermons at temples and churches upon the invitation of the national Chinese religious groups or the provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality religious groups.

Article 24: Foreign religious professionals entering China other than as religious professionals who plan to preach or give sermons at temples and churches upon the invitation of the national Chinese religious groups or the provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality religious groups shall meet the following conditions:

(1) Comply with China's laws, regulations, and rules, respect China's principle of religious independence and self-management, not have speech or actions antagonistic to China, not have religious extremist tendencies;

(2) The proposed content is not to violate China's laws, regulations, or rules, and must not interfere with China's religious affairs or violate China's public order and good customs.

National-level religious groups and religious groups at the provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality level shall submit applications and the following materials to the State Bureau of Religious Affairs and the religious affairs departments of provincial-level people's governments respectively:

(1) The application form with content including the reason for the invitation, and the temples and churches planned for preaching or sermons;

(2) The background of the persons invited, their religious position, the identity under which they entered the country, and the main content of their proposed teaching;

(3) The temples and churches written consent to the preaching or sermons.

The State Bureau of Religious Affairs or provincial level religious affairs departments shall make a decision to approve or not approve an application within 20 days of receiving it.

Article 25: Foreigners in China carrying out cultural or academic exchange activities with Chinese religious groups, religious schools, or religious activity sites or that are bringing religious publications, recordings, or other religious goods into the country in volumes exceeding personal use, shall meet the following requirements:

(1) The religious publications, recordings, or other religious goods do not include content such as that which endangers China's national security and societal public interest, as well as that which is contrary to China's principle of religious independence and self-management;

(2) The units receiving the religious publications, recordings, or other religious goods are Chinese religious groups, religious schools, or religious activity sites.

(3) The units receiving the religious publications, recordings, or other religious goods meet the requirements for religious culture and academic exchanges;

(4) Have the consent of a national religious group or a provincial, autonomous region, or municipality religious group.

The scope of the self-use quantity of religious printed matter and religious audio-visual works refers up to ten volumes (copies) per person per time for publications issued in separate editions, and up to three sets per person per time for publications issued in sets. The scope of the self-use quantity of other religious articles refers to up to three of the basic unit for each type.

Article 26: Where foreigners bringing religious publications, recordings, or other religious goods into the country in excess of volumes for personal use, the unit recieving them shall apply to the religious affairs department for their provincial-level people's government, and submit the following materials:

(1) The application form with content including an introduction to the foreigners and the religious cultural or academic exchange, and a catalog of religious publications, recordings, and other religious goods, with samples, volumes, and an explanation of their use:

(2) The text of the religious cultural academic exchange project or agreement ;

(3) Written materials showing consent by national religious groups or provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality religious groups.

Where the receiving unit is a national religious group or a religious school one established, the national religious group is to report the application materials to the State Bureau of Religious Affairs.

The State Bureau of Religious Affairs or provincial level religious affairs departments shall make a decision to approve or not approve an application within 20 days of receiving it.

Article 27: Where foreigners in China are recruiting persons to study abroad for the purpose of cultivating religious professionals, the national religious groups or provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality religious groups are to make overall planning arangements and selections as needed.

Foreigners must not recruit persons for study abroad for the purpose of cultivating religious professionals without authorization.

Foreigners studying at Chinese religious schools shall have the permission of national religious groups or the religious groups of provinces, autonomous regions, and directly-governed municipalities.

Article 28: Foreigners hired to work as Chinese religious schools in accordance with legally-prescribed procedures may teach at religious schools as foreign professionals.

Article 29: Foreign religious organizations other than for Bhudism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, and [protestant] Christianity, and their members that conduct exchanges with Chinese government departments or religious groups, religious schools, or religious activity sites, shall meet the following conditions:

(1) Be friendly to China;

(2) Have a legal status or identity in the country (region) where they are located;

(3) No negative records;

(4) Respect China's principle of relgious independence and self-management, and have exchange activities planned in China's mainland that do not violate China's laws, regulations, and rules.

The Chinese unit shall apply to the State Bureau of Religious Affairs and submit the following materials:

(1) The application form, with content including the purpose, matters, time, place, and number of participants for the exchange;

(2) The basic information of the foreign religious organization and its members and the religion, and an explanation that the foreign religious organization and its members meet the conditions listed in the preceding paragraph;

(3) Basic information on the Chinese unit and main participants.

The State Bureau of Religious Affairs shall make a decision to approve or disapprove within 20 days of accepting the application.

Chapter IV: Legal Responsibility

Article 30: Where public employees abuse their authority, play favorites, neglects their duty or ctwist the law for personal gain in the management of foreigners' religious activities in China, they shall be punished in accordance with law; where a crime is constituted, criminal responsibility is pursued in accordance with laws and regulations.

Article 31: Where foreigners in China have any of the following conduct, the religious affairs departments and other relevant departments are to give punishments in accordance with law; where laws and regulations such as the "PRC Law on Entry/Exit Management" or the "PRC Law on Public Security Administrative Sanctions" are violated, the public security organs are to give punishments in accordance with law; where the "PRC Counter-espionage Law" is violated, the state security organs are to give punishments; and where a crime is constituted, criminal responsibility is pursued in accordance with law.

(1) Violations of the provisions of article 5 of these Measures;

(2) Violations of the provisions of article 21 of these Measures;

(3) Preaching or giving sermons in temples and churches on one's own accord, without the invitation of a national religious group or a provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality religious group;

(4) Bringing religious publications, recordings, or other religious goods into the country in excess of ammounts for personal use, or otherwise sending them into the country; or where religious publications, recordings, or other religious goods entering the country have content that endangers national security, the societal public interest, or goes against China's principle of religious independence and self-management.

(5) Recruiting persons in mainland China to study abroad for the purpose of cultivating religious professionals.

Where foreigners in China violate the provisions of item (2) of article 21 of these Measures by setting up religious activity sites or religious schools, give punishments in accordance with paragraph 1 of article 69 or the "Religious Affairs Regulations"; where item (4) of article 21 is violated by receiving religious donations from Chinese citizens, punishment is to be given in accordance with the second paragraph of article 69 of the "Religious Affairs Regulations; and where item (5) of article 21 is violated by carrying out religious education and training, punishment is to be given in accordance with the first paragraph of article 70 of the "Religious Affairs Regulations".

Article 32: Where foreigners in China set up temporary sites and organize group religious activities without authorization, punishment is to be given on the basis of the second paragraph of article 69 of the "Religious Affairs Regulations".

Article 33: Where foreigners holding group relgiious activities at temples and churches or temporary sites violate the provisions of these Measures or the content of written pledges, the religious affairs departments are to order corrections, and where the organizers are responsible, are to order a change of organizer; where the circumstances are serious, order that the temples and churches stop providing special services for foreigners' group religious activities, or order the temporary sites to stop activity.

Article 34: Where Chinese religious groups, religious schools, and religious activity sites violate these Measures, the religious affairs departments are to order corrections, and where corrections are refused are to give punishments in accordance with article 65 of the "Religious Affairs Regulations".

Where Chinese religious professionals violate these implementation rules, they are to be addressed in accordance with article 73 of the"Religious Affairs Regulations".

Article 35: Those providing conditions for foreigners in China's illegal religious activities are to be addressed in accordance with article 71 of the "Religious Affairs Regulations".

Article 36: Where anyone is dissatisfied with specific administrative acts taken by the religious affairs departments, they may apply for an administrative reconsideration in accordance with law; and where dissatisfied with the decision of the administrative reconsideration, they may raise an administrative lawsuit in accordance with law.

Chapter V: Supplementary Provisions

Article 37: In directly governed municipalities administrative regions, the duties of city (region, prefecture, league) religious groups provided by these Measures are to be preformed by the directly governed municipalities' district (county) religious groups; The duties of religious affairs department for county-level and districted city level people's governments are to be performed by directly governed municipalities' district (county) religious affairs departments.

Article 38: Where counties (cities, districts, banners) have no relevant religious groups, the corresponding duties provided for by these Measures are to be performed by municipal (region, prefecture, or league) religious groups.

Where cities (regions, prefectures, leagues) 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 39: These measures may be consulted in implementation for religious activities conducted by overseas Chinese in China, Taiwan residents in the mianland, or Hong Kong and Macao residents in the mainland.

Article 40: The detailed implementing measures are to take effect on XX/XX/XX.

 

 

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