New stricter religious affairs regulations in China should prompt believers to become more aware of how to defend their rights, said Ying Fuk-tsang, director of the divinity school at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Ucanews.com reported that the regulations, which take effect today, were first released in draft form in 2014 before a fuller version was made public in 2017.
Critics maintained that concerns expressed about an eroding of religious freedom were largely ignored, ucanews.com reported.
Among stricter provisions are those covering official registration of places used for religious purposes, but there is some confusion about criteria to be applied.
Ying told ucanews.com that much would depend on how lower- and higher-level communist officials implement the details of the amended Regulations for Religious Affairs. This would apply to open, officially recognised religious groupings as well as to so-called underground or house practitioners, he added.
Picture: People pray during morning Mass on 30th January in Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Beijing. (CNS photo/Roman Pilipey, EPA).