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China bans forced religion for orphans

2014-05-06 10:37 chinadaily.com.cn Web Editor: Wang Fan

Chinese officials have ruled that religious groups should not force abandoned or orphaned children they adopt to follow their faith, Chinanews.com reported Monday.

In a notice jointly issued by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and State Administration for Religious Affairs, it was noted that religious groups have greatly contributed to helping abandoned children, but problems concerning methods of care and education have also arisen.

The notice stipulates that religious groups eligible for children adoption must be registered, including their facilities and personnel. No unregistered groups or individuals will be allowed to take in abandoned or orphaned children in the name of religion.

To be eligible for registration, groups must demonstrate stable financial resources, standardized fire safety and health conditions, and other requirements for child care.

Religious groups that meet the criteria can either file an application for a contract with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, before the two bodies cooperate on adoption services, or register to be an adopter, to continue providing adoption services under the new rules.

Civil and religious affairs officials will help eligible religious entities without qualified adoption conditions to improve their infrastructure and meet the standards, the notice said.

For the religious groups that can't meet qualified adoption conditions after rectification work, and those who won't sign a cooperation contract with officials or register to be an adopter, their adoption services will be shut down by civil affairs, religious affairs and police officials, the notice continued.

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