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  • China to register all clergy
    2013-01-09    source:Xinhuanet    author:

    China's religious affairs authorities will register all clergy members by the end of the year, in a move to help the public identify fake religious staff.

    At a national conference on religious affairs Tuesday, Wang Zuo'an, State Administration for Religious Affairs director, said in most of the country's provincial-level regions, more than 95 percent of clergy members have registered.

    China launched the approval and registration of religious workers in 2010, requiring all clergy to be qualified by relevant religious organizations. They also have to register at administrative organs for religious affairs.

    The administrative authorities will complete the work this year, and create a national database and online information query system for religious affairs, Wang said.

    The system will help to protect the legitimate rights and interests of those within religious circles and help the public identify fake staff, he said.

    During the registration process, religious workers' awareness of conducting relevant activities in accordance with the law has also been enhanced, the official said.

    According to documents issued at Tuesday's conference, China has about 360,000 clergy members, and more than 17,000 of them are also members of local or national legislative or political advisory bodies, participating in the country's decision-making procedures.

    The documents said China has about 140,000 religious sites open to the public and followers with the authorities' approval.

    The documents added that the administration will also work to help the venues to improve their management systems as well as coordinate relations among religious organizations.