Chinese Law and the International Protection of Religious Freedom
22 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2003
This article gives an overview of the international law of religious freedom and also Chinese laws regarding the practice of religion. It then compares Chinese laws with the international standards in three particular areas: the definition of religion or belief (using the case study of Falun Gong); the scope of protected manifestations of religion or belief (using the case study of politico-religious activity in Tibet); and the role of the state in controlling religious groups and practices. It concludes that, while China certainly deals more harshly with religious groups than most states, many of the problems that it faces are also faced by other states and are areas where it is difficult to find clear guidance in international law. The exception to this is the high level of state control exercised over official religions and the discouragement of unofficial religions.
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation