The government has released a draft of a new set of rules called “Measures on the administration of internet religious information services.” Legal scholar Jeremy Daum has posted a translation of the rules, and tweeted that the measures are “really troubling in their overreach” and worth a look. The South China Morning Post notes:
- The rules say “all groups distributing religious information online would have to have a license from provincial religious affairs departments. Licensed groups would be able to ‘preach and offer religious training’ but not live-stream or broadcast religious activities.”
- Foreign groups and individuals would be banned from disseminating religious content online.
- “The proposal drew immediate criticism within China, says the SCMP, “including from a Zhejiang-based monk who warned that excessive control of legal religious activities would only encourage people with unmet spiritual needs to seek out illegal sources.”
- Public consultations on the rules end on October 9.