A series of proposed restrictions by the Chinese government is setting up a "religious winter," a Christian group that works in the communist nation contends, according to a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.
"Studying the newly revised Regulations on Religious Affairs, it is evident that the [Communist] Party wants to take charge of religion," a pastor, identified only as Zhou, told China Aid.
China Aid is an international non-profit Christian human rights group that promotes religious freedom and the rule of law in China.
"We believe that religious freedom is the first freedom, which lays the foundation for all other basic human rights," the group explains. "By exposing the abuses, encouraging the abused, and spiritually and legally equipping the leaders to defend their faith and freedom, China Aid strives to promote religious freedom for all."
In a report based on sources in China, the organization said the religious regulations drafted by the State Council of the People's Republic of China "aim to suppress all unofficial religious activities via dispersing Christian house churches, silencing Tibetan and Xinjiang separatists and undermining the Vatican’s influence on Chinese Catholics."
The draft regulations have been released to "gather opinion" from the public, but it will be the council that formally adopts them, probably as early as October.
"Currently the draft, based on the previous Regulations on Religious Affairs, contains nine chapters and 74 articles. Some of the proposed articles include prohibitions on 'organizing citizens to attend religious trainings, conferences and activities abroad,' 'preaching, organizing religious activities, and establishing religious institutions or religious sites at schools,' and 'providing religious services through the internet,'" the report said.