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Revised regulation on religious affairs curbs profit-seeking practices

Updated: Feb 1,2018 3:01 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Revised regulations on religious affairs went into effect in China on Feb 1, curbing profit-seeking activities by religious groups.

The updated rules reminded religious groups, schools and venues of their nature as nonprofit organizations and forbade any organizations or individuals from profiting from sponsoring the building of religious venues.

Groups and individuals are banned from investing in or contracting for operation of religious venues, and they may not carry out commercial promotion in the name of religion, said the regulation.

It also stipulated that religious groups, schools, venues and their staff should register at taxation authorities and declare their taxes.

In recent years, some temples have become too commercialized, harming the healthy development of religion and triggering corruption.

A Taoist temple in Central China’s Henan province was shut down in November 2017 after it was found to have sought profits in the name of religion, according to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

The temple, which dates back to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), was renovated by a local company in 2006 and opened in 2007. It was approved by local authorities to operate as a site for Taoist activities in 2011.

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