China targets religion on radio, TV and internet

New rules to ban content ‘endangering social morality, disturbing social order, undermining social stability’

The China Television System Television Production Building (Wikimedia Commons)

Posted: Sep 12, 2022 10:38 GMT

Updated: September 12, 2022 at 10:40 GMT

Communist China is moving forward to adopt new regulations for radio, television and online programs that strictly prohibit, among other things, all forms of dissent and unauthorized religious content that threatens to disrupt “the order social” and to deny the “socialist culture”, according to a report.

The State Radio and Television Administration last month released the draft regulations titled: “Provisions on the administration of the production and activities of radio, television and online audio-visual programs.” and asked everyone to “seek feedback” by September 8. bitter wintera magazine on religious liberty and human rights reported on September 9.

The new regulations will place all such platforms under strict surveillance in line with orders from President Xi Jinping who reportedly claimed they were “chaotic” and not fully controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

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The new rules prohibit foreigners from producing audiovisual programs for radio, television or Internet broadcasting in China and limit production only to explicitly authorized companies.

Article 18 of the new regulations also provides a list of content strictly prohibited for production and distribution:

(A) Violating the basic principles established by the constitution, inciting resistance or undermining the implementation of the constitution, laws and regulations, distorting and denying advanced socialist culture;

(B) Endangering national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, revealing state secrets, endangering national security, undermining national dignity, honor and interests, promoting the terrorism, extremism and nihilism;

(C) Denigrate China’s excellent traditional culture, incite ethnic hatred, ethnic discrimination, violate national customs and practices, distort national history or national historical figures, hurt national feelings, and undermine national unity ;

(D) distort, slander, profane or deny revolutionary culture, or the deeds and spirit of heroic martyrs;

(E) being contrary to national religious policy, or promoting xie jiao and superstitions;

(F) Endangering social morality, disrupting social order, undermining social stability.

Xie Jiao (Forbidden Cults) is a collective of religions and religious practices banned in China by the CCP.

The regulation explicitly mentions “religion” but refers to the “national religious policy” which prohibits “unauthorized” religious activities and information through any media, bitter winter reported.

The reference to Xie Jiao covers a wide range of groups, including folk religious practices that the CCP dismisses as “superstitions.”

Observers note that the category “damaging social morals, disturbing social order, harming social stability” covers all forms of dissent and criticism of the CCP and legitimizes repression by the authorities.

China recognizes five organized religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Protestantism and Islam. However, all religions and religious activities are strictly monitored. Authorities punish all unauthorized religious groups and activities with detention without charge, long prison terms, and house arrest.

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