Amid crackdown on religions: China restricts online religious coverage including burning incense

Beijing: Amid an ongoing crackdown on churches, masajid and other places of worship by the officially atheist Communist Party, China is going to impose new rules on religious activity on the internet. Especially the followers of Islam and Christianity are on the radar of Chinese authorities.

State Administration for Religious Affairs issued draft regulations according to which anyone wishing to provide religious instruction or similar services online must apply by name and be judged morally fit and politically reliable.

According to the draft document published online Monday by the Bureau of religious affairs, the new rules would only allow members of officially licensed organisations to post certain kinds of religious content. Individuals will not be allowed to post photos, videos and even text related to religious activities, or sharing links related to preaching. Organisations that break the rules may be shut down or penalised “according to law”.

Officially recognising five religions, Beijing imposes strict controls on how they may be practised – regulating everything from who can attend services to what can be said by religious leaders.

The new guidelines forbid livestreaming of religious activities, including praying, preaching or even burning incense.