China targets parents with religion rules in XinjiangOctober 12, 2016
Parents and guardians in China’s heavily Muslim region of Xinjiang who encourage or force their children into religious activities will be reported to the police, the government said on Wednesday while unveiling new education rules.
New education rules, to come into effect on November 1 and carried by the official Xinjiang Daily, say parents or guardians cannot “organise, lure or force minors into attending religious activities”.
Neither should they promote hardline beliefs in children, nor force them to dress in specific clothing or other symbols, the newspaper said, echoing the tone of previous rules against beards for men or head coverings for women.
“Any group or person has the right to stop these kinds of behaviours and report them to the public security authorities,” the government said in the rules.
The rules also ban any form of religious activity in schools.
If parents are unable to properly guide their children away from harmful ways and they cannot continue to study at their existing schools, they can apply to have their children sent to specialist schools to “receive rectification”, the rules state.
Schools must guide pupils away from separatism to create an environment that “esteems science, seeks the truth, refuses ignorance [and] opposes superstition”.