All religions in China should now look up to the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) for leadership and promote its policies, according to new regulations that came into effect from this month.

The rules, which have been by criticised by religious groups, lay down measures for supervision and administration of religions in the country by the National Religious Affairs Administration of China. The rules do away with all doubts, if any, that the five religions legally practised in China – Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism and Protestantism – are secondary to the CPC.

In December, the National Religious Affairs Administration of China had released the set of regulations on the management of religious groups.

“In six chapters and 41 articles, the regulations include content on the organization, functions, supervision and management of religious groups. They stipulate that religious affairs departments of people’s governments are the administrative bodies of religious groups, and should perform their functions such as guiding and supervising the groups’ operation,” the state media had reported on the new regulations.

The regulations essentially say all religions and related organisations must support the CPC’s leadership and support the “Sinicisation” of religions.

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