Payday loansPayday Loans

Recent News

  • Myanmar Politician Preparing to Seek Legal Limits on Interfaith, Interethnic Marriage

  • Call for Religious Leaders to Teach Acceptance in Malaysia

  • Attacks on religion, liberty

  • Can Muslim lands learn to tolerate Christianity?

  • China vents anger over Dalai Lama's planned Norway visit

  • Militia attack Muslims in Central African Republic's capital

  • Egypt’s new charter stronger on personal freedoms

  • Pussy Riot members freed from prison

  • Frank Wolf, champion of religious freedom, will end congressional career

  • A Political Deal in a Deeply Divided Tunisia as Islamists Agree to Yield Power

  • Egyptian Christians Bridle at Prison Terms for Copts Only in Fatal Clash

  • The Central African Republic descending into ‘complete chaos’

  • French burqa ban challenged in top European court

  • Sharia in Sudan v. women and religious freedom

  • China aims to harness religious beliefs to promote harmony

  • Afghanistan Considers Reinstating Public Stoning for Adultery

  • Sunnis Close Baghdad Mosques to Challenge Religious Attacks

  • Modi campaign stirs religious divide in India's heartland

  • Aung San Suu Kyi, and Myanmar, faces an uncertain future

  • Syrian Christians flee persecution as Patriarch urges them to stay in war-torn country

  • Central African Republic on the verge of genocide, France warns UN

  • Myanmar rejects U.N. resolution on Rohingya Muslims

  • How the State Department Is Getting Religion

  • UN to Myanmar: Make Rohingya Muslims citizens

  • Our Failed Religious Freedom Policy

  • Turkey drops a screen over Christianity

  • Opinion: The oppression of Bahais continues in Iran

  • TAJIKISTAN: "The Law demands that all religious literature be checked by the State"

  • Sudan’s Enduring Question: The Role of Shari'ah in the Constitution and Law

  • The Role of the Hijab Is Becoming a National Problem for Russia

  • For Indian Christian leader, Narendra Modi is a threat to religious freedom

  • Commentary: The two faces of India

  • With 'loving kindness', Myanmar frees 69 political prisoners

  • New U.N. Rights Council Members Are Elected

  • Turkish court lifts headscarf ban for attorneys

  • Egypt's Christians close ranks as kidnappings spike

  • Hundreds of Buddhists in Myanmar protest Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s upcoming visit

  • Frank Wolf Renews Calls for Release of U.S. Pastor from Iranian Prison

  • Many Sunnis and Shias Worry About Religious Conflict

  • China paper blames blind faith of “uncultured” Uighur youth for Xinjiang unrest

  • Turkey's Alevis protest for greater freedoms

  • KAZAKHSTAN: "He was told not to sell religious literature"

  • Myanmar violence between Buddhists, Muslims threatens reforms

  • UZBEKISTAN: Baptist camp ordered seized, Protestant pressured to inform

  • Tibetans Call China’s Policies at Tourist Spot Tacit but Stifling

  • Violence against Muslims threatening Myanmar reforms: U.N. envoy

  • Putin says unnamed foreign foes use radical Islam to weaken Russia

  • Malaysia’s curbs on use of the term ‘Allah’ hurting its moderate Muslim image

  • Vietnamese Court Orders Two Parishioners of Vinh Diocese Jailed

  • Opinion:State Department stays mute on persecuted religious minorities worldwide

  • Turkey, Religious Freedom and the Current State of Christian-Muslim Dialogue (1895)

  • In Nigeria, Wedlock Seen as Terror Fix

  • Northern Iraq no longer safe for Christians

  • Clerics call on UN military force to secure Central African Republic

  • EU condemns Egypt church violence, urges end to religion-based attacks

  • Young Turkish Jews emigrating due to anti-Semitism, tensions with Israel

  • Egypt orders trial of four policemen over killing of Islamist detainees

  • Passion of Pakistani Sufis infuriates Taliban

  • Egyptian writer may face jail for accusations of defaming religion

  • UN expert hails “key breakthrough for religious freedom reached in Cyprus”

  • Kenneth Bae's mother tells of heartbreak after seeing, leaving imprisoned son

  • Conviction of Christians for Murder of Hindu Leader in India Biased, Unfounded, Attorneys Say

  • Opera Fights Hungary’s Rising Anti-Semitism

  • Buddhists and Christians denounce Hanoi for using law to control religions

  • ARMENIA: "Imprisoned conscientious objectors should be immediately and unconditionally released"

  • Bombs planted in confessional box of Syrian church

  • French court upholds Scientology fraud conviction

  • Suzan Johnson Cook to resign as religious freedom ambassador

  • BELARUS: Why is Catholic priest still detained by KGB secret police?

  • Q&A: What Court Decision on Use of ‘Allah’ Means for Malaysia

  • The Surprising Story Of 'Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an'

  • Religious tension runs deep for Vietnam’s minorities

  • Malala Yousafzai wins EU's Sakharov human rights prize

  • Religious liberty takes center stage in diplomacy with Iran

  • Turban row: Sikh NGO wins case against France at UN

  • Vietnam Lets Churches Thrive, but Keeps Control

  • KAZAKHSTAN: Pastor to be transferred from prison to house arrest

  • Kenya Salvation Army Church Torched; Four Killed

  • Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng gets U.S. platform to promote human rights

  • Orthodox leader calls for end Christians' persecution

  • Jewish groups slam Council of Europe Assembly resolution on circumcision

  • Opinion: Quebec’s coup d’etat against religious freedom

  • Small town, big impact: Supreme Court case could define religion’s role in public

  • European council passes anti-ritual circumcision resolution

  • Council of Muftis complain to U.S. reps about disrespect for Muslims in Russia

  • Woman, 94, killed as Buddhist rioters attack Muslim villages in western Myanmar

  • RUSSIA: What's wrong with "extremist" Koran translation?

  • Persecution against Christians increases in many parts of the world

  • How Promotion of Religious Freedom Can Help Prevent Extreme Violence

  • RUSSIA: Muslims rush to challenge Koran "extremism" ruling

  • Judge Ordered Sikh to Remove 'That Rag' from Head, Says ACLU

  • Donate by Paypal or Credit Card

    Solution Graphics

    Click Amazon to Help ICRF

    amzn-ba100x70.gif (2357 bytes)

    Help ICRF with your donation

    Follow ICRF on Twitter

    Twitter Image

    Like Us on Facebook

    Facebook Image
    Religious Freedom Ranking:
    1 out of 5 stars: Serious Violations


    China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong and Macau) (one star)


    Reports on Tibet, Hong Kong and Macau are added at the end of this report.




    The Constitution declares that Chinese residents “enjoy freedom of religious belief.”  It forbids the state, public groups and persons from forcing citizens to believe in, or not believe in, any religion. The Constitution protects “normal religious activities,” which are managed by the five authorized “patriotic religious associations” (Buddhist, Taoist, Muslim, Catholic and Protestant).  Chinese Communist Party (CCP) followers are dissuaded from participating in religious activities. The government allows proselytizing only in registered places of worship and in private locations.

    The Falun Gong is an outlawed spiritual organization, and its members have been severely persecuted in attempts to lessen the numbers of Falun Gong practitioners.  Several other groups are also listed as “heretical (or evil) cults.” Religious groups such as Catholics loyal to the Vatican are not allowed to openly hold religious services. Authorities in parts of the country have charged religious followers unaffiliated with a patriotic religious organization with “illegal religious activities” or “disrupting social stability.”  Penalties for these charges vary from fines to imprisonment.

    The country has a population of 1.3 billion.  A February 2007 survey recorded that about two hundred million respondents described themselves as Buddhist, Taoist or worshippers of traditional folk gods.  According to the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), there are more than 21 million Muslims, 16 million Protestants and 5.3 million Catholics.  It was reported that prior to its ban in 1999, an estimated 70 million people followed Falun Gong, based on the teachings of founder Li Hongzhi. Falun Gong members were subjected to several methods of physical and psychological coercion—including physical torture and incarceration in “re-education” centers and mental hospitals—in efforts to force them to deny their beliefs.

    The government cannot be sued on the basis of religious freedom protections in the Constitution.  Religious organizations were susceptible to action by regional officials who frequently regulate through managerial orders. A stipulation in the criminal law permits the state to sentence government administrators for up to two years in prison if they infringed on religious freedom.

    Along with its ban on Falun Gong, the government-banned spiritual groups include the Guan Yin (also known as Guanyin Famin or the Way of the Goddess of Mercy) and Zhong Gong (a qigong exercise discipline).  The government considered numerous Protestant Christian groups to be “evil cults,” including the “Shouters,” Eastern Lightning, the Society of Disciples (Mentu Hui), Full Scope Church, Spirit Sect, New Testament Church, Three Grades of Servants (or San Ban Pu Ren), Association of Disciples, Lord God Sect, Established King Church, Unification Church, Family of Love and the South China Church.

    Religious organizations separate from the five patriotic religious associations often have great trouble getting legal status and are vulnerable to coercive and penal action by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) and the Religious Affairs Bureau (RAB).

    Individuals wishing to enroll in an official seminary or institution of religious learning must get the support of the patriotic religious associations.  The government obliges students to show “political reliability,” and political issues were added in tests of graduates of religious schools.

    In 2005 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that parents were allowed to teach religious beliefs to children under the age of 18.  However, atheistic ideas are often taught in schools, based on the ruling party’s commitment to Marxism-Leninism.

    The PRC Labor Law states that job applicants shall not experience religious discrimination; however, many employers explicitly discriminate against religious believers.  Employers were dissuaded from hiring Falun Gong practitioners. Numerous Protestant Christians report being fired by their employers because of their religious background.

    Chinese government apprehensions over “separatism, religious extremism, and terrorism” have resulted in repressive limitations on religious activities by Uighur Muslims. Authorities usually failed to differentiate between peaceful spiritual practice and illegal terrorist activities. In contrast, Hui Muslims engaged in spiritual activities with less government meddling.

    Registered and unregistered religious and spiritual groups experienced continued harassment from government officials.  Several religious leaders and adherents were detained, arrested or sentenced to prison because of their religious activities. These activities comprised of gatherings for religious worship, publicly and privately expressing religious beliefs and publishing religious texts and materials.  Members of unregistered religious groups were subject to administrative detention, such as imprisonment at reeducation through labor (RTL) camps.

    In its 2009-2010 National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP), the government claimed that it would “encourage and support religious circles in launching social welfare programs [and] exploring methods and channels for religions to better serve society and promote the people’s well-being.”  The government provided the work of social services of registered religious organizations by freely stating the positive role that religious organizations can have on society.  Some international faith-based aid groups were permitted to deliver services in accordance with regional authorities and domestic registered religious organizations.

    In February 2012, ethnic Uighurs and Han Chinese met in a clash in the Northwest region of China. Between twelve and sixteen people were killed in the riot, and at least two were shot by police. The Chinese government blames the Uighurs, predominantly Muslim ethnic Turks who are culturally distinct from ethnic Chinese, for these riots. Uighur-Han violence was at a high in 2009, when riots killed nearly 200 people and injured 1,700 others. The government has been severely restricting the freedom of Uighurs in an effort to prevent more violence, further angering them.


    Religious repression against the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhists remained high. The government forced monks and nuns to undergo “patriotic education” in monasteries and nunneries that incorporated important amounts of “legal education.”  During the patriotic education sessions, administrators forced monks and nuns to denounce the Dalai Lama and to study texts worshipping the Chinese Communist Party (CPP) and the socialist system.

    Tibetans repeatedly faced discrimination and persecution, particularly in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu.  Such discriminations included being denied access to passports and rooms at hotels.

    The Tibetan population within the Tibetan Autonomous Region was 2.4 million, or less than half the total of ethnic Tibetan population of China, which is 5.4 million.  Most Tibetans practice Tibetan Buddhism, and a very small percentage practice Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism.  Other religions include Daoism, Confucianism and traditional folk beliefs.  There are a small number of people who practice the banned spiritual group, Falun Gong.

    The CCP organization, the United Front Work Department (UFWD) and the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), with support from the officially recognized Buddhist, Catholic, Islamic and Protestant “patriotic religious associations,” were accountable for expanding religious management policies in Tibet.  The Management Measures on Reincarnation (MMR), issued by SARA, provides rules and regulations over Tibetan religious traditions.  It has control over the choice of Tibetan religious figures, including individuals who have been designated as “reincarnated” lamas.  Only officially recognized lamas may carry out religious work.  The Religious Affairs Regulations (the Implementing Regulations), also issued by SARA, directed Tibetan Buddhism matters.

    China has seen a rise in protests from Tibetan monks recently. According to the New York Times, at least 27 people have set themselves on fire in protest of Chinese rule, and at least 18 have died from this. These protests have risen in number due to incidents in which police attacked Tibetan and Uighur protestors. During one incident, which happened on January 14th, it is reported that two people were wounded. On another, just weeks later on January 23rd, at least 31 people were wounded and at least one died. It has been difficult to obtain accurate reports because the Chinese government severely censures all information.

    Hong Kong

    The Basic Law, which serves as the Constitution of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), provides for the generally free practice of religion.  It upholds the principal statement of “one country, two systems.”  There have been no reports of abuses or discrimination based on religious belief.

    Hong Kong has a population of seven million.  There are approximately 1.5 million Buddhists and Taoists; 550,000 Protestant Christians; over 400,000 Roman Catholics; 20,000 Mormons; over 100,000 Muslims; over 40,000 Hindus; 2-3,000 Sikhs; and 3-4,000 Jews. Confucianism is often blended with Taoism and Buddhism.  There are about 300 to 500 Falun Gong members in Hong Kong.

    The Bill of Rights Ordinance includes the religious freedom protections of the Internal Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  It offers individuals the right to freely worship a religious belief privately and publicly.  The ordinance also defends the right of parents or legal guardians to “ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.”

    The purpose of The Home Affairs Bureau (HAB) is to provide the necessary links between religious organizations and the government.  The government often invited affected religious groups and individuals to present their views on whether suggested measures persecuted them on the basis of religion.  The only direct government role in handling religious affairs is the Chinese Temples Committee, which the Secretary for Home Affairs leads.  It members are selected by the Chief Executive.

    It is optional for religious groups to register with the government if they wish to have government benefits.


    The Basic Law, which serves as the Constitution of the Macau Special Administrative Region (Macau SAR), provides for religious freedom. There were no reports of abuses or discrimination based on religious belief.

    According to official 2008 statistics, there is a population of 549,200. Buddhism is the predominant religion constituting 80 percent of the population.  Roman Catholics comprise 5.2 percent of the population and more than 1 percent is Protestant. Other religious groups include Baha’is, 2,500 persons; Muslims, 100 persons; and a small number of Falun Gong members.

    About 50 percent of primary and secondary schools have been managed or funded by religious organizations.  These schools are allowed to provide religious education.

    Article 34 of the Basic Law declares that, “Macau residents shall have freedom of religious belief, and freedom to preach and to conduct and participate in religious activities in public.”  Additionally, Article 128 of the Basic Law specifies, “the government, consistent with the principle of religious freedom, shall not interfere in the internal affairs of religious organizations or in the efforts of religious organizations and their believers to maintain and develop relations with their counterparts outside Macau or restrict religious activities which do not contravene the laws of the Special Administrative Region."

    The 1998 Freedom of Religion and Worship Law provides for religious freedom, privacy of religious affiliation, freedom of religious gathering, freedom to hold religious demonstrations and freedom of religious instruction.  The Freedom of Religion and Worship Law permits religious groups to directly register with the Identification Bureau.

    There have been no reports of religious prisoners or forced religious conversions.


    2010 U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom China, Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau

    China Country Profile- BBC News

    Tibet: Another Monk Sets Himself Afire-

    In China, reporting on Tibetan and Uighur unrest is nearly impossible- Christian Science Monitor

    Police Roundup Follows Riot in Northwest China, Uighurs Say- CNN News


    Last Updated on Monday, 18 June 2012 11:02