Chinese officials have organized teams to monitor and inspect religious activities in churches in the central Henan province. It is ironic that these actions come on the heels the government’s announcement forbidding children from attending Sunday school and any other church activities this summer, alleging that the hot weather is a health risk. Inspectors are supposed to read the church’s materials and attend the church’s services. Nevertheless, the government is just trying to “curb religious affiliation in order to impress the ideology of the Communist Party on its citizens,” which violates Article 36 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.
07/27/2017 China (China Aid) – Communist Party officials in China’s central Henan province formed a new body of inspectors in order to monitor the “separation of education and religion” throughout the province, beginning Monday.
In a notice dated July 22, 2017, the Henan Provincial Religious Affairs Bureau announced the creation of an inspection team formed in conjunction with the province’s united front work department and charged it with “supervising and examining the enforcement of the ‘separation of education and religion’ in all cities and counties from July 24-26.” Its duties include assessing how those who teach religion and places of religious activity are trained, looking into how Bible studies and summer camps geared towards young adults are handled, investigating the hiring of Muslim imams from other provinces. In order to accomplish these objectives, the inspectors are to read materials and listen to reports of the particular situation, arrange for religious group leaders to meet with religious affairs bureau staff, and travel to places where religious activities are held.
These actions follow on the heels of an announcement that churches in the province have been forbidden from holding summer camps for children, with authorities alleging that the hot weather posed a health risk. In reality, the government is trying to curb religious affiliation in order to impress the ideology of the Communist Party on its citizens. Such actions are a violation of Article 36 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, which states, “No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion.”