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Students banned from attending religious events in China

East Asia

Students banned from attending religious events in China

Xi Jinping. Premier of China, whose government has imposed a crackdown on Christians

Local authorities in Linxia county, Gansu province, have banned students from attending religious events during the winter holidays, as authorities step up control of religious education.

The education bureau declared the ban in a notice posted online. The notice also prohibited students from entering religious buildings over their holidays, and reading scriptures in classes or in religious buildings.

It added that all students and teachers should work to strengthen political ideology and propaganda.

The county is home to many members of the Muslim Hui ethnic minority.

In summer 2017, local authorities in Wenzhou, southeastern China, introduced a ban on children attending Sunday School, although Christian parents found alternative ways to teach their children about Christianity. The city is sometimes known as “China’s Jerusalem” due to its large Christian population.

In February 2018, new regulations on religious affairs passed in October 2017 will take effect. It sees to increase oversight of religious education, and provides for greater regulation of religious activities. Chinese authorities has stepped up their persecution of Christianity, such as demolishing two churches in December 2017 and January 2018.

Chinese law officially grants religious freedom for all, although its regulations state that religion cannot be used to hinder state education or to “coerce” children into religion.