Measures on the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services

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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 ensure citizens' freedom of religious belief.

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

Internet Religious Information Services as used in these Measures includes refers to services related to Internet Religious Information such as publication, reposting, or transmission platform services.

Article 3: Those engaged in Internet Religious Information Services shall abide by the Constitution, laws, regulations and rules; practice the core socialist values; adhere to the nation's principle of religious independence and self-government, persist in the nation's orientation toward the sinification of religion, actively bring about the adaptation of religion to socialist society; and preserve religious tranquility and acquiesence, social harmony, and ethnic concordance.

Article 4: The administration of Internet Religious Information Services is to adhere to the principles of protecting what is lawful, prohibiting what is unlawful, suppressing extremism, resisting infiltration, and fighting crimes.

Article 5: 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 organs, state security organs, and so forth are lawfully responsible for administrative management efforts within the scope of their respective duties.

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

Chapter II: Internet Religious Information Service Permits

Article 6: Services providing information to the public involving religion, including that relating to religious doctrine, religious knowledge, religious culture, or religious activities, which is transmitted as text, images, audio or video through means of Internet websites, applications, forums, blogs, microblogs, public accounts, instant messaging, or online livestreaming, shall obtain an Internet Religious Information Services permit and possess 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 an unincorporated organization; and their legal representatives or principal responsible person are a citizen of China and a resident of the mainland;

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

(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 provisions related to the state management of religious affairs 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 7: Those engaging in Internet Religious Information Services shall submit an application to the provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality religious affairs department for their area, complete an Internet Religious Information Services Application Form, and provide the following materials:

(1) Materials 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 review personnel's participation in education and training on religious policies, regulations, and relevant religious knowledge, as well as on their capacity for reviewing;

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

(4) An explanation of 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 conduct in violation of provisions related to the state management of religious affairs in the last 3 years;

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

Those applying to provide internet religious information broadcast platform services, shall also submit the platform's system of rules for managing registered users, user agreement models, and mechanisms for handling complaints and reports. User agreement models' content involving Internet Religious Information Services' shall conform to the relevant provisions of these Measures.

The State Bureau of Religious Affairs is to draft the Internet Religious Information Services Application Form.

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

Article 8: Except where they are the same as the name of the applicant, the names used to engage in Internet Religious Information Services must not use the names of religious groups, religious institutions, or religious activity sites, and must not contain content prohibited by laws and administrative regulations.

Article 9: The religious affairs departments of people's governments at the provincial level and above shall make a decision to approve or not to approve an application within 20 days of receiving it. Where a decision to approve is made, an Internet Religious Information Services Permit is to 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 Permits.

After applicants obtain Internet Religious Information Services Permits, they shall still complete the formalities for the relevant state provisions on internet information services management.

Article 10: Those engaging in Internet Religious Information Services shall display their Internet Religious Information Services Permit number in a conspicuous place.

Article 11: Where after applicants obtain an Internet Religious Information Services Permit, there is a change in major matters impacting the permit, this shall be reported to the organ that issued the permit for approval; other changes shall be reported for filing to the organ that issued the permit.

Article 12: Where Internet Religious Information Services are terminated, they shall handle de-registration formalities within 30 days of the termination at the organ that issued their permit.

Article 13: Internet Religious Information Service permits' are valid for 3 years. Those who seek to continue to engage in Internet Religious Information Services after the validity period is completed shall submit a new application to the organ that issued their permit 30 days prior to the completion of the validity period.

Chapter III: Administration of Internet Religious Information Services

Article 14: Internet Religious Information 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 undermine the Socialist system, national and ethic unity, and social stability, or to advocate extremism, terrorism, ethnic separatism, and religious fanaticism;

(2) Using religion to obstruct the implementation of systems such as for justice, education, marriage, or social management;

(3) Using religion to advocate cults and feudal superstition, or using religion to harm citizens' physical health, or obtain assets through trickery or coercion;

(4) Contravening the principle of religions' independence and self-governance;

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

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

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

(8) Enticing minors to adopt a faith, or organizing or compelling a minor to participate in religious activities;

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

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

(11) other content prohibited by relevant laws, administrative regulations and state regulations.

Article 15: Religious groups, religious schools, and temples and churches that have obtained Internet Religious Information Services Permits may have religious professionals and teachers from religious schools preach on online platforms, applications, and forums and so forth that they have established themselves, and interpret religious doctrine and rules with content conducive to social harmony, the progress of the times, and healthy civilization, leading religious citizens in patriotism and compliance with laws. Real-name registration is to be implemented for persons participating in preaching.

Article 16: Religious schools that have obtained Internet Religious Information Services Permits may carry out religious education and training activities for religious school students and religious professionals through online platforms, applications, forums, and so forth that they have established themselves, Dedicated websites, applications, forums, and so forth must use VPNs for external connections, and verify the identities of participants in the education and training.

Article 17: Except in the situations provided for in articles 15 and 16 of these Measures, organizations and individuals must not proselytize online, and must not carry out religious education or training, publish preaching or repost or link to related content, must not organize the carrying out of religious activities online, and must not broadcast religious rites such as obeisances to Buddha, burning incense, ordinations, services, mass, or baptisms, through means such as text, images, audio, or video either live or in recordings.

Article 18: Organizations and individuals must not establish religious organizations, religious schools, or religious activity sites online, or recruit followers.

Article 19: Organizations and individuals must not 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 internet religious information broadcast platform services shall sign agreements with the platform's registered users, and verify users' real identity information.

Article 21: Internet information broadcast platforms that have not obtained Internet Religious Information Services Permits shall strengthen the management of the platforms' registered users, and must not provide users with publication services for internet religious information.

Article 22: Where those engaged in Internet Religious Information Services discover that users have published information in violation of these Measures, they shall immediately stop transmitting the information and employ disposition measures such as elimination, prevent the information spreading, store relevant records, and report to the relevant competent departments.

Article 23: Religious affairs departments shall strengthen routine guidance, oversight, and inspections of Internet Religious Information Services; establish archives of violations by Internet Religious Information Services, lists of the targets of joint discipline for untrustworthiness, and systems for having a talk with Internet Religious Information Services; strengthen professional training for those working in Internet Religious Information Services, accept reports on violations of laws and regulations in Internet Religious Information Services, research and assess internet religious information, and collaborate with internet information departments, competent departments for telecommunications, public security organs, and state security organs to handle illegal activity in accordance with law.

Article 24: Internet information departments shall strengthen internet information content management, addressing illegal internet religious information in accordance with law.

Article 25: The competent departments for telecommunications shall strengthen regulation of the Internet Religious Information Services industry, and lawfully cooperate in addressing illegal conduct by those engaging in Internet Religious Information Services.

Article 26: Public security organs 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 state 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 applicants conceal relevant circumstances or provide false materials in applying for Internet Religious Information Services Permits, the religious affairs departments are not to accept the application or grant a permit, revoke the permits of those already permitted in accordance with law, and give warnings.

For those engaging in Internet Religious Information Services without authorization, the religious affairs department and the competent departments for telecommunications are to order that the relevant service activities be stopped based on their duties.

Article 29: Where articles 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, or 19 of these measures are violated. the religious affairs departments are to order that corrections be made in set period of time; where corrections are refused, they are to collaborate with the internet information departments, competent departments for telecommunications, public security organs, state security organs, and so forth to give punishments in accordance with relevant laws and administrative regulations.

Article 30: Where the registered users of religious information broadcast platforms violate the provisions of these Measures, the religious affairs departments, in conjunction with the internet information departments and public security organs, to order the internet religious information broadcast platform provider to employ measures ranging from warnings and corrections, restricting functions, and even closing accounts in accordance with laws and agreements.

Article 31: Where violations of these Measures simultaneously also 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 are to handle it in conjunction with the internet information departments, competent departments for telecommunications, public security organs, departments for radio, film and television, departments for publication, 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 given sanctions in accordance with law.

Article 33: Where provisions of these Measures are violated, constituting a violation of the administration of public security, public security administrative sanctions are given in accordance with law; where a crime is constituted, criminal responsibility is pursued in accordance with law.

Chapter V: Supplementary Provisions

Article 34: 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 35: 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 36: These Measures take effect on March 1, 2022.

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