Managing Religious Competition in China: Regulating Provisions of Charitable Activities by Religious Organizations
in Regulating Religion in Asia: Norms, Modes and Challenges 207-230 (Jaclyn L. Neo, Arif A. Jamal, & Daniel P.S. Goh eds., Cambridge University Press 2019)
24 Pages Posted: 8 May 2019
Date Written: April 1, 2019
Drawing on the Law & Religious Market theory, this Chapter utilizes the case study of China to explain 1) how regulation of ostensibly non-economically motivated activities (i.e., religion and charity) can be properly conceived as a form of market regulation; and, 2) how such a conception can add a valuable dimension to the discourse. In particular, this Chapter situates China’s regulation of charitable activities by religious organizations in the context of recent major legal reform on charity law and highlights the contradictory treatment where, on one hand, the law recognizes the self-interested motivation of participants and donors of charitable activities and accommodates their co-opting of charitable activities to promote or advance commercial interests but, on the other hand, specifically prohibits religious organizations from any religious propagation during provisions of charitable services. This Chapter argues that from the perspective of market regulation, such denial of religious “self-interest” hampers the purported policy objectives of promoting greater religious participation in charitable activities but may be justified on the grounds that it promotes religious competition that is normatively desirable.
Keywords: Law & Religious Market, religious freedom, charity, China, proselytization restrictions, market regulation
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation