Report: Education and freedom of religion in China

 

Over recent months there have been a number of worrying developments concerning education, children’s rights, and the right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) in China. These include:

  • Prohibitions against under 18s entering places of worship.
  • Pressure from schools on children and parents to stop ‘believing in religion’.
  • Blocked access to education on the basis of religious belief or practice (child or parents).
  • Forced closure of faith-based educational facilities.
  • Detention of minors in connection with their religion or belief.

These incidents are part of a new government focus on the control and management of religious activities, exemplified by the revised Regulations on Religious Affairs (RRA) which came into effect on 1 February 2018 and include articles pertaining to religion in education. Unregistered communities are being forcibly shut down, while religious groups registered with the government are being managed more tightly. Additionally, some Christian groups have been accused of belonging to ‘evil cults’ which are banned by the government under vaguely- worded anti-cult legislation. In each case the government’s focus is on the control of religious life, rather than the protection of FoRB.

Read the full report on children, education and freedom of religion or belief in China.