Resource Corner

A Reader’s Guide to Laws and Regulations of the New Era

During the first decade of the New Era (2012–2022) there have been changes in laws and regulations that have impacted the church and Christians in China. A number of these have been referenced in various articles in this issue of the ChinaSource Quarterly. Here we pull together references for your convenience and further reading.

When reading Chinese regulations about religion, it is important to keep in mind that these apply to all five recognized religions in China (Buddhism, Catholicism, Christianity, Daoism, and Islam). There are often heightened concerns where ethnic affairs overlap religious affairs such as in cases of Tibetan Buddhism and Muslim ethnic groups.

This summary covers just the national level changes in regulations and administrative measures pertaining directly to religion. There are other more specific laws and regulations that also affect Chinese Christians in various areas of their life and ministry. One example would be detailed laws and regulations that affect areas such as media (print, TV, movies, and livestreaming).

The summary is available as a downloadable PDF below. Whenever possible we have included links to both the original Chinese and to an English translation. Links to helpful articles for context and analysis are also included. The items are arranged as follows:

  • Religious Regulations Affecting Churches
  • Policies Affecting Churches
  • Religious Policies and Regulations Affecting Expatriates
  • Laws and Regulations Affecting Nonprofits and NGOs

Note: All the URLs provided were active as of November 12, 2022. The SARA website is accessible in China but those seeking to access the site from outside China may get an error message. 

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ChinaSource Team

ChinaSource Team

Written, translated, or edited by members of the ChinaSource staff.          View Full Bio