Firewall against faith and festivity

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP)—officially atheist and traditionally hostile toward religion and related rituals, particularly what it calls “foreign” beliefs—has stepped up pressure on China’s faithful with a new decree that forbids online religious activity without government permission. From March 1, 2022, sermons and ceremonies by monasteries, churches and individuals will require special licenses. The policy flows from a religious work conference this month at which CCP chief Xi Jinping called for tighter state control over religious affairs and further “sinicization” of faiths to bring them in line with party policies.

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