Cabinet d'avocats




Regulations Governing The Religious Activities of Foreign Nationals within China


Promulgated by Decree No. 144

By the State Council, signed by Premier Li Peng, on January 31, 1994



Article 1. This regulation is formulated in conformity with the Constitution in order to protect the freedom of religious belief of foreign nationals in China and to safeguard the public interest.


Article 2. The People's Republic of China respects the religious freedom of foreign nationals in China and protects friendly visits, cultural and scholarly exchanges and other such religious activities between foreign nationals and religious circles in China.


Article 3. Foreign nationals may participate in religious activities in religious venues in China, including monasteries, temples, mosques and churches; and, at the invitation of a religious body at or above the provincial, autonomous region or municipality level, may discuss the scriptures and preach.


Article 4. Foreign nationals may hold religious activities for other foreign nationals at venues recognized by the Religious Affairs Bureaus of the People's Government at or above the county level.


Article 5. Foreign nationals in China may request Chinese clergy to perform religious rites such as baptisms, marriages, funerals, and Taoist and Buddhist rituals.


Article 6. When foreign nationals enter China, they may carry printed materials, audio and visual materials and other religious items for their own use; if these are brought in quantities which exceed those for personal use, such items will be dealt with according to the relevant Chinese customs regulations.
Religious publications and religious audio and visual materials whose content is harmful to the public interest are forbidden.


Article 7. Foreign nationals recruiting students within China for overseas religious studies or who come to China to study or teach in Chinese religious educational institutions are subject to the relevant Chinese regulations.


Article 8. Foreign nationals who engage in religious activities in China must respect Chinese laws and regulations. They are not permitted to establish religious organizations, liaison offices, and venues for religious activities or run religious schools and institutes within China, they are not allowed to recruit believers among the Chinese citizenry, appoint clergy or undertake other evangelistic activities.


Article 9. The Bureaus of Religious Affairs at or above the county level or other offices concerned should act to dissuade and put a stop to religious activities of foreign nationals which violate this regulation. If the violation constitutes an immigration offence or a

matter of public security, the public security organs will dispense penalties according to the law; if the violation constitutes a crime, the judiciary will investigate to determine where criminal responsibility lies.


Article 10. This regulation will be applied to the religious activities of foreign nationals within China.


Article 11. The religious activities in mainland China of Chinese citizens residing overseas, or residents of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao will be subject to this regulation.


Article 12. Interpretation of this regulation will lie with the Religious Affairs Bureau of the State Council.


Article 13. This regulation takes effect from the date of promulgation