(Compass) – On March 1, China adopted the new Regulations on Religious Affairs, first announced by the government in December 2004. The government claims the new regulations are a step towards religious freedom. However, legal scholars say the law is vague, reinforces government control of religion and increases penalties for unregistered churches. The regulations have already sparked debate among house church Christians. Some younger house church leaders are optimistic and say they will register, while an older generation of leaders — those who survived the Cultural Revolution — maintain suspicion of the government and are less likely to register.