'No Reincarnation Without Permission' Say Chinese Authorities In Fresh Crackdown On Religion

An unofficial church in Hebei Province, China.Reuters

A province in China has blacklisted a series of 'illegal' religious activities targeting Islam, Christianity and Tibetan Buddhism, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).

The blacklist comes after a ban on unofficial churches along with preaching, mission, proselytism and ordination without official authorisation in China last week.

RFA is reporting that it has unearthed a document from the religion department in Xinjiang that blacklists 26 different religious activities.

Among the banned activities is reincarnation. China regards Christianity as a hostile Western force but is equally opposed to other faiths. The new document states also that Tibetan Buddhist leaders cannot be reincarnated without government approval. 

Among the banned practices is proselytism or missionary work during poverty relief efforts, disaster relief, tourism or academic and cultural exchanges.

It is not the national Communist Party but the regional government in Urumqi that has issued the blacklist.

A source told RFA: 'These are [measures] being taken by the regional government, but there is no letterhead, seal or signature linked to the autonomous region.

'They told us to study them today, but I said that if it is the law of the land, at least there should be an official seal. We have to study these 26 things.'

It is not just Christians that are being targeted.

Muslim Uighurs are also being banned from religious rituals and and certain marriage, divorce and funeral customs. Hui Muslims are also banned from proselytism and all the newly-defined 'illegal missionary activities'.

'They have basically outlawed any underground preaching at all or missionary work, and that includes Catholicism [and other faiths] in the crackdown,' said one man, named as 'Li'. 'They are focusing on specific and different details in every religion. They are all very carefully described, which suggests that [government agents] have managed to penetrate deep into organisations and religious groups.'

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