Measures for the Administration of Religious Groups (Draft for Solicitation of Comments)

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【Source】http://www.moj.gov.cn/news/content/2019-08/28/zlk_3230430.html
【意见时限】2019/9/27

Chapter I: General Provisions

Article 1: To standardize the administration of religious groups, facilitate the healthy development of religious groups, and provide active guidance on the adaptation of religion to socialist society, these Measures are thus formulated in accordance with relevant regulations of the State on the administration of social organizations and religious affairs.

Article 2: "Religious group” as used in these Measures refers to non-profit social organizations that are voluntarily formed by religious citizens and that carry out activities pursuant to their charters for the purposes of uniting religious citizens to love their country and religion, and promoting the healthy development of religion.

Religious groups are a bridge and bond that unites and connects the Communist Party of China and Chinese government with the religious community and religious citizens at large.

Article 3: Religious groups shall follow the relevant State regulations on the registration and administration of social organizations and on the administration of religious affairs to register with the civil affairs departments of people’s governments upon the review and approval of the religious affairs departments of people’s governments.

Before the review and approval of people's governments' religious affairs departments and registration with the people's governments' civil affairs departments, activities must not be carried out in the name of religious groups.

Article 4: Religious groups' charters shall conform to the relevant state regulations on the administration of social organizations and religious affairs. Activities carried out by religious groups in accordance with their charters are protected by law.

Article 5: Religious groups must follow the leadership of the Communist Party of China; obey by the Constitution, laws, regulations, rules and policies; adhere to the principles of independence, autonomy and self-governance; persist in the direction of sinification of religion; practice the Core Socialist Values; and maintain national integrity, ethnic unity, religious harmony and social stability.

Article 6: The religious affairs departments people’s governments are the professional supervisory units for religious groups. Religious groups shall accept the supervision, oversight, and administration of people's governments religious affairs departments.

Chapter II: Organizational Structure of a Religious Group

Article 7: Religious groups shall establish their organizational structures in accordance with relevant state regulations on the administration of social organizations and religious affairs as well as provisions of their bylaws, and pursuant to the principles of democracy, competence and efficiency.

Article 8: A representative assembly is the body with the highest authority in a religious group, and the board of directors (committee) is the executive body of the representative assembly.

Religious groups whose boards of directors (committees) have many members may set up a standing board of directors (standing committee) responsible to the board of directors (committee).

Article 9: The representative assemblies, boards of directors (committees) and standing boards of directors (standing committees) of religious groups shall follow the relevant state regulations on the administration of social organizations and the religious groups' charter to convene regular periodic meetings, make decisions on relevant matters, and exercise authority.

Article 10: The directors (committee members), standing board directors (standing committee members), presidents (chairs or executive directors), vice president(s) (vice chair(s) or deputy director(s)), secretary general (director general), and deputy secretaries general (deputy director(s) general) of a religious group shall be selected and fulfill their responsibilities in accordance with relevant regulations of the State on the administration of social organizations and pursuant to the bylaws of the religious group.

Article 11: The president (chair or director) must not concurrently serve as the president (chair or director) of any other social organization, including any other religious group, except in situations where the social organizations in which the person serves as president (chair or director) has the same offices. Generally, the president (chair or director) must not be over the age of 70.

The president (chair or director) will serve five-year terms, and generally may, upon election, serve one more consecutive term.

The president (chair or director) shall generally work in the groups' business place, and where under special circumstances the president (chair or executive director) cannot be based there, the executive vice president (executive vice chair or executive deputy director) shall be responsible for the routine work of the organization. At least one vice president (vice chair or deputy director) shall be based in the business place of the organization.

Article 12: In general, the president (chair or executive director) shall serve as the religious groups' legal representatives. Religious groups' legal representatives must not concurrently serve as the legal representatives of any other social organization.

Article 13: Religious groups shall reasonably set up offices based on their business scope and actual business needs.

Article 14: Religious groups' establishment of branches and representative bodies shall conform to the purpose and business scope specified in the religious groups' charters, and upon deliberation and adoption by the boards of directors (committees) or the standing boards of directors (standing committees), be submitted to the religious affairs departments of people’s governments for review.

Branches may be called subcommittees, specialist committees, working committees, special fund committee, and so forth. Representative bodies may be called representative offices, offices, or liaison offices.

Branches or representative bodies do not have status as legal persons and must not formulate separate charters; they must not use the name of any type of legal entity, and must use words such as “China”, “Chinese”, “National” and “State” in their names; and shall carry out activities using their standard full name containing the name of the religious group of which it is a part.

Religious groups must not set up regional branches, nor set up sub-branches or subdivisions under a branch or representative body.

Article 15: Religious groups shall strengthen leadership establishment, and build leadership teams of high caliber in accordance with the standards of being politically reliable, democratically in style, and highly efficient in work.

Chapter III: Functions of a Religious Group

Article 16: Religious groups shall carry out their work in accordance with laws and their charter and perform functions provided for by laws, regulations, and rules, as well as their charters.

Article 17: Religious groups shall publicize the Communist Party of China's directives and policies, as well as the State's laws, regulations and rules, for religious citizens; educate and guide religious citizens towards supporting the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the socialist system; persist in taking the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics; obey laws, regulations, rules, and policies; correctly handle the relationship between national laws and religious rules; and raise the awareness of the state, of the law, and of citizenship.

Article 18: Religious groups shall contact and serve clerical personnel and religious citizens, convey the opinions and reasonable demands of the religious community, preserve the legitimate rights and interests of the religious community, and guide religious citizens towards fulfilling civic obligations.

Article 19: Within their scope of business and in accordance with the Constitution, laws, regulations, rules, policies, and the actual work needs, religious groups shall formulate, and urge the implementation of, rules and regulations related to religious institutes and schools, religious activity sites, religious professionals, religious activities, and so forth.

Article 20: National religious groups, as well as a religious groups for provinces, autonomous regions, or directly governed municipalities shall perform responsibilities as the entity running religious institutes and schools, carrying out routine management, guidance, and supervision of religious institutes and schools they operate; guiding religious institutes and schools in the correct direction for running schools; raising the quality of school operations, improving the procedural systems for decision-making by the board of directors or committees, etc.; perfecting religious institutes and schools' internal management and operating mechanisms; supporting the religious institutes and schools’ efforts to improve the operating conditions;, helping resolve the difficulties and problems arising in the running of institutes and schools, and ensuring a steady supply of funds for the religious institutes and schools.

Article 21: Religious groups shall guide religious activity sites in setting up management bodies, improving internal management systems, implementing democratic management, and standardizing their religious activities and financial management.

Religious groups shall guide religious sites towards selecting, through mutual agreement, the principal religious professional candidates for religious sites, review the service or departure of the principal religious professional from religious sites, and shall, upon review and approval, submit this to the religious affairs department of a people’s government for filing.

Based on actual needs, religious groups are to lawfully apply to establish religious activity sites, and submit opinions on religious activity sites' that apply for registration as legal persons.

Article 22: Religious groups shall carry out research on religious culture and religious texts, construct religious ideology, thoroughly uncover content in religious teachings and rules that are conducive to social harmony, modern progress, and health and civilization; and make interpretations of religious teachings and rules in line with contemporary China's requirements for development and improvement, and in line with the outstanding traditional Chinese culture.

Article 23: Religious groups shall designate religious professionals pursuant to the measures for designating religious professionals formulated by national religious groups, and submit designations to the religious affairs department of a people’s government for filing.

Religious groups shall strengthen education for religious professionals on the state, rule of law, politics, and religion; and promote the overall caliber of religious professionals.

Religious groups shall strengthen the teaching atmosphere, complete mechanisms for rewards and punishments of religious professionals and for their entry and exit; to punish religious professionals that violate laws, regulations, and rules, as well as that group's rules.

Article 24: Based on religious needs, national-level religious groups and religious groups at the provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality level, may, follow relevant State regulations to select and send people for pursuing religious study abroad, accept religious exchange students, and standardize the channels for studying abroad.

National-level religious groups shall formulate that religions' measures for selecting and sending people for pursuing religious study abroad as well as for accepting religious exchange students, and submit these to the State Administration for Religious Affairs for filing.

Chapter IV: Oversight and Management

Article 25: The religious affairs departments of people’s governments shall perform duties as the professional supervisory unit for religious groups, guiding and supervising religious groups in relation to the following matters in accordance with relevant state laws and regulations:

(1) be responsible for the set-up, modification, and deregistration of religious groups and for review of operations prior to the approval for their charters; be responsible for the review of the annual work reports of the religious groups; and, together with relevant authorities, provide guidance on religious groups’ deregistration and liquidation.

(2) supervise and guide religious groups’ activities and performance of functions in conformity with laws and their charters, and lawfully discipline religious groups that violate laws, regulations, rules, and policies as well as their own charters;

(3) Conduct reviews, oversight and management of matters on which religious groups have lawfully submitted applications to the religious affairs departments of people’s governments for review and approval;

(4) Oversee and guide religious groups in establishing and completing systems of rules based on the Constitution, laws, regulations, rules, policies, and actual work requirements, and strengthen ideological establishment, organizational establishment, work-style establishment, and international establishment.

(5) other matters that require guidance and management as provided for by laws and regulations.

Article 26: With respect to the following matters of a religious group, an application shall be submitted to the religious affairs departments of people’s governments for review and approval:

(1) matters that shall be reviewed and approved by the religious affairs departments of people’s governments as provided for by laws and regulations;

(2) Adjustments of religious groups presidents (chairs or executive directors), vice presidents (vice chairs or deputy directors), or secretaries general (directors general) as well as change of their offices and their ofiices' responsible persons

(3) setup, change, and deregistration of branches or representative bodies;

(4) holding significant meetings, activities, or training sessions;

(5) situations such as where it is proposed that the religious affairs department of a people’s government serve as a supporter or organizer;

(6) carrying out external exchange activities;

(7) formation of economic entities, or carrying out for-profit activities;

(8) founding of social organizations;

(9) acceptance of religious books, audiovisual products or monetary donations in an amount of more than RMB 100,000 from foreign (non-mainland) organizations or individuals;

(10) other important work that shall be reported to the religious affairs departments of people’s governments for review.

Article 27: With respect to the following matters of religious groups, a prior written report shall be made to the religious affairs departments of people’s governments:

(1) work programs, annual work plans, and annual work summaries;

(2) large expenditures, major assets dispositions, and major construction projects;

(3) occurrence of safety incidents, causing personal injury, death, or property damage;

(4) occurrence of conflicts or disputes either within the religious group or between the religious group and another party, that affect the normal work of the religious group;

(5) occurrence of issues of major violations of laws or regulations;

(6) acceptance of media interviews, publication of signed articles, or publication of signed books by the president (chair or director), vice presidents (vice chairs or deputy directors) based in the business place of the organization, or the secretary general (director general);

(7) the president (chair or executive director), vice presidents (vice chairs or deputy directors), or the secretary general's (director general's) exit from the [mainland] borders for personal reasons;

(8) The president (chair or director), executive vice president, executive vice chair), executive deputy director in charge of routine work of the organization, or the secretary general's (director general's) departure from the relevant province, autonomous region or directly governed municipality for business or personal reasons;

(9) other matters that shall be reported to the religious affairs departments of people’s governments.

Under special circumstances, where a prior written report cannot be made, a written report shall be promptly submitted to the religious affairs department of a people’s government during or after the matters.

Article 28: Religious groups shall follow relevant state regulations on the administration of social organizations and their own charters, to standardize systems for the respective meetings of the representative assemblies, the boards of directors (committees), the standing boards of directors (standing committees), presidents (chairs or directors), and for executive meetings of the president (chairs or directors), and improve democratic decision-making mechanisms.

Article 29: Religious groups shall draft work programs and annual work plans, specifying long-term goals and short-term tasks, and ensuring the consistent implementation of programs and plans.

Article 30: Religious groups shall formulate their own employee management systems, specify job duties and disciplinary rules, and regulate the religious activities, social activities, external exchange activities, etc. of employees.

Religious group staffs are to implement a system for recusal of relatives.

Staff of religious groups includes the presidents (chairs or directors), vice presidents (vice chairs or deputy directors), the secretaries general (directors general), deputy secretaries general (deputy directors general) and staff of the organizations' offices.

Article 31: Religious groups shall establish management reporting and democratic evaluation systems for presidents (chairs or directors), vice presidents (vice chairs or deputy directors), and secretaries general (directors general).

Article 32: Religious groups shall establish study systems, organizing group staff to study the major decisions and deployments of the Communist Party of China, the State policies and regulations, the exceptional traditional Chinese culture, religious knowledge, and so forth.

Article 33: In carrying out internet religious information services, religious groups shall complete relevant internal management systems, obey the relevant provisions on internet religious information services, publicize the Party’s religious theories, directives, and policies, as well as laws, regulations and decrees related to religion; and conduct academic research on religion, introduce religious knowledge, and so forth.

Article 34: Religious groups shall implement the national unified financial, asset, and accounting systems; establish and complete systems such as for accounting, financial reporting, and financial disclosures; set up and improve the financial management bodies, retaining necessary accounting personnel and strengthening financial management; and periodically reporting financial conditions and information on income and expenses, as well as on the acceptance and use of donations, and so forth, to the local religious affairs department of a people’s government at the county level or above.

Article 35: Religious groups' legal representatives and directors of financial affairs, as well as the heads of financial departments, shall accept financial auditing prior to their departure, retirement, or transfer from their positions.

Article 36: Religious groups shall handle tax registrations and tax declarations in accordance with law, and enjoy tax benefits as specified by relevant State regulations.

Chapter V: Legal Responsibility

Article 37: Where religious groups have problems such as improper internal governance or failure to perform duties provided for in their charters, and so forth; the religious affairs departments of people’s governments shall give the president (chair or executive director) of the religious groups a talking to; where the circumstances are serious, criticism is to be circulated or a temporary suspension for rectification is to be given, etc.

Article 38: Where religious groups violate state regulations on the management of social organizations or religious affairs, people's governments' religious affairs departments and civil affairs departments are to lawfully address it; where other laws or regulations are violated, lawfully pursue the religious groups' responsibility.

Chapter VI: Supplementary Provisions

Article 39: The State Administration for Religious Affairs is responsible for the interpretation of these Measures.

Article 40: For any matters not covered by these Measures, follow relevant state regulations.

Article 41: These Measures take effect xx/xx/ 2019.

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