(CHRISTIAN HEADLINES) – A newly implemented directive from the Chinese government forces Protestant ‘house churches’ and Catholic ‘underground’ communities to seek ‘guidance’ from recognised religious organisations.

A notification from the State Administration for Religious Affairs, issued earlier this month, requires organisers of religious activities at temporary sites to also apply for a permit that is valid for three years, Catholic news website UCAN reported.

According to Professor Ying Fuk-tsang, director of the Divinity School at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, these recognised religious organisations include the China Christian Council and the national committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, which are known in China as the “two organisations”.

The directive has caused fear among the ‘underground’ communities that they will come under greater control, according to UCAN.

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