Full Text: Freedom of Religious Belief in Xinjiang
Updated: 2016-06-02 16:46
IV. Managing Religious Affairs in Accordance with the Law
In accordance with laws and regulations and the principle of "protecting the legal, stopping the illegal, containing the extreme, resisting infiltration, and combating crimes," Xinjiang manages religious affairs, protects people's freedom of religious belief, and ensures that normal religious activities proceed in an orderly way.
Xinjiang has promulgated and amended a series of regulations, including the Provisional Regulations of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on the Administration of Sites for Religious Activities, the Provisional Regulations of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on the Administration of Religious Activities, the Provisional Regulations of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on the Administration of Religious Personnel and the Regulations of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Religious Affairs, which define the rights and obligations of religious organizations, venues for religious activities and religious personnel. Xinjiang will further improve its rules and regulations on the administration of religious affairs and the rule of law in its work in this regard.
Administrate venues for religious activities. Venues for religious activities in Xinjiang have to go through government registration formalities in accordance with the law before they get legal status. The government issues the land-use certificate, housing-ownership certificate and registration certificate for each such venue. The venues enjoy the right to establish democratic management organizations, manage their internal affairs, organize and conduct religious activities, receive donations, manage and use property, and initiate public welfare programs. The legitimate rights and interests of the venues are protected by law, and no infringement or intervention by any organization or individual is allowed. Anyone that enters the venues must follow the administration regulations and respect the religious personnel and believers. Through the administration of the venues in accordance with the law and the self-management of religious believers, activities in the venues are held in a safe and orderly way, and the venues are properly managed and enjoy a clean environment.
Administrate religious activities. Normal religious activities in Xinjiang are protected by law. It is required that group activities of religious believers be carried out in lawfully registered venues. Religious activities must comply with the regular order of society, work and life, as well as the regulations governing public places. Religious organizations are responsible for coordinating internal religious affairs, and the government should not interfere.
Administrate clerical personnel. In accordance with laws, regulations and religious traditions, clerical personnel in Xinjiang enjoy the right to preside over religious activities and ceremonies, and may receive social and individual donations. No organization or individual other than a religious group is allowed to appoint, designate, employ, dismiss or replace religious personnel. Clerical personnel must fulfill their civic obligations, and uphold national unification, ethnic unity and social stability.
Regulate activities of administrative departments. In Xinjiang, religious affairs departments at the county level or above manage the religious affairs of their respective administrative regions in accordance with the law, and other administrative departments are in charge of administrative work related to religious affairs within their respective statutory duties. Relevant departments of the state and local government in Xinjiang provide training sessions for functionaries of religious affairs departments to improve their capabilities in administrating religious affairs. Those who have violated the legitimate rights and interests of religious organizations, venues for religious activities or clerical personnel or believers will bear due legal responsibilities, and those who have committed crimes will be held criminally responsible. Standing committees of the people's congresses at all levels supervise the administration of religious affairs in accordance with the law.
Punish illegal behavior in the guise of religion. The Chinese government prohibits any organization or individual from splitting the country, disseminating extremist religious thoughts, inciting ethnic hatred, undermining national unity, disturbing the social order, or impairing citizens' physical and mental health in the name of religion. The government prohibits any act that impedes the implementation of the systems of state administration, justice, education, culture, marriage, family planning or inheritance in the name of religion. It also prohibits behavior that violates national security and interests, public interests, and citizens' legitimate rights and interests in the name of religion. Judicial organs at all levels in Xinjiang combat criminal activities in the name of religion to better ensure the citizens' freedom of religious belief and normal religious activities. No Xinjiang citizen has been punished because of his or her rightful religious belief.
Attach equal importance to management and services. Relevant functional departments at governments at all levels in Xinjiang actively help religious circles solve practical difficulties and provide them with services. They help religious organizations and schools improve work and school conditions, eliminate all security risks of venues for religious activities, include clerical personnel in the social security system, and provide living allowances for disadvantaged clerical personnel on a regular basis.
Uphold principles of independence and self-management of China's religious undertakings. China's religious undertakings are run by religious groups, personnel or citizens, and its religious affairs or organizations are not subject to any foreign domination. Foreigners must abide by Chinese laws and regulations when participating in religious activities within Chinese territory and must not interfere in China's religious affairs. As a provincial-level administrative region of China, Xinjiang sticks to the principle of independence and self-management in terms of its religious affairs.
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