County Officials in Anhui Report on Repressive Use of New Regulations of Religious Affairs

June 29, 2005

Local governments in China have reported on their efforts to implement "regulation of religion according to law" since the new national regulations on religious affairs became effective in March 2005. On June 13, officials in Lingbi County in Anhui province reported on their work to standardize the management of religious affairs. The report claims progress in punishing violations of the rights and interests of believers in 30 cases. Most of the report focuses, however, on punishing religious organizations and venues for violations of the regulations. The punishments included banning 81 out of 119 privately established religious venues, seizing and detaining 21 illegal preachers, and eradicating 23 "nests of evil cult activity."