The Tibet Policy Institute stated that there are obvious signs that China’s new regulation, called Management Measures of Religious Activity Sites, will intensify restrictions on religious studies and practices in Tibet. China has implemented new policies on religious activity sites since the 1st of this month to tighten the ongoing religious persecution.
The Management Measures of Religious Activity Sites consists of 76 articles. On 4th September, Tibet Times interviewed the director of Tibet Policy Institute, Dawa Tsering, about this new regulation and its implications. He said, “There are various ways to intensify restrictions in this new regulation. Usually, when the world sets regulations regarding religious activity sites, the government protects the site, serves, and helps the people so that the activities can go smoothly and be successful. Instead, while going through all the articles of this new regulation, it says ‘no this’ and ‘no that,’ which clearly shows the level of restriction that will be intensified. This regulation is not even mentioned in the Chinese constitution but is implemented. This regulation does not mention a word about the protection and success of religious activity sites. The regulation mainly says no to the establishment of statues in religious sites and no to religious activities outside the religious site. In a nutshell, it is all about the Sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism.”
Asking about how this new regulation may intensify restrictions in the future, unlike before, he replied, “The restriction continues. In the future, China would consider the restriction as legal. This regulation shows that religious repression will be continued with intensity. To avoid criticisms of religious persecution, China is now planning to legalize the regulations. The Chinese government says that religious activities will be controlled. Therefore, it is obvious that restrictions will be intensified.”
It is stated that heavy restrictions would be imposed on religious contact with outsiders. Mr Dawa Tsering answered by asking what is known by contacting outsiders. “It is saying to impose restrictions on receiving support and recognition from outside. If someone is recognized as a reincarnation of somebody from outside, that person is not permitted to stay in the monastery. In the last two years ago, religious communities cannot receive any gift or money of more than 1 million yuan from outside. Currently, one cent cannot be accepted from outside. China doesn’t allow any support from outside in terms of economy and administration. So, religious and economic access from outside is stopped.”
Since the 1st of March 2022, measures for the Internet Religious Information Service administration have come into effect. This regulation demands any picture, video, soundtrack, or live stream regarding religious teachings or activities must obtain a permit letter to circulate on social media platforms, like WeChat, from the Administration of Internet Religious Information Service. Additionally, the religious organizer or any representative must be someone who has an identity card, lives in China, knows the regulations about religious activities, and has no criminal record for the past three years. It requires following all the regulations that the Chinese government has set. The permit letter must be updated after three years. With this permit letter, it is prohibited to collect money, establish a religious community, and school, and carry out any religious activity. Chinese authorities practically implement these prohibitions.