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Since China’s new regulations for religious affairs took effect on February 1, minors have been banned from entering places of worship in several regions.
A priest in Hebei province who asked to remain anonymous told ucanews.com that authorities had asked clergymen in some parts of the province to post signs prohibiting minors from entering religious venues, prayer houses and other church premises.
Churches - Signs
“They also threaten churches that they cannot be used if they refuse to post the signs,” he said.
A blogger wrote that “religious venues are the third premises, following clubs and internet bars, where minors are prohibited from entering by authorities.”
Peter - Catholic - China - Signs - Churches
Peter, a Catholic in central China, said he had seen such signs posted in churches in Xinjiang.
He told ucanews.com there are no legal grounds for officials prohibiting minors from entering religious venues, and he accused officials of violating China’s constitution.
Minors - Bars - Government - Police - Blind
“When minors enter internet bars, the government and police turn a blind eye. However, they are becoming very strict in prohibiting minors from entering religious venues. It is ridiculous,” he said.
Peter said the constitution clearly stipulates that citizens have religious freedom, while protection laws state that teenagers and children cannot be discriminated against because of their religious beliefs.
Universal - Declaration - Human - Rights - Parents
He said the Universal Declaration of Human Rights also stipulates that parents have the right to educate their children in accordance with their religious beliefs.
Before the regulations took effect, Ying ****-tsang, director of the divinity school at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, told ucanews.com that much would depend on how lower- and higher-level communist officials implement the details.
Priest - Father - Thomas - Henan - Ucanews
A priest identified only as Father Thomas of Henan told ucanews.com he, too, believed the regulations would be implemented differently across China, mainly depending on the relationship between the local...
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