China OKs religious instruction for minors

Beijing, China - A spokesman from the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that citizens have the right to provide religious education for their children. At a regularly scheduled press briefing in Beijing, Liu Jianchao was asked about China's law and policy regarding religious belief and minors.

"The Chinese government respects and protects citizens' rights of religious belief.According to the Chinese constitution and regulations, citizens have the right to believe in religion or not to believe in religion," Liu said."Chinese law has no regulation that minors under the age of 18 cannot believe in religion; in the meantime, Chinese laws and regulations stipulate that no organization or individual should use religion to interfere in the public education of school and society," he added.

In response to a follow-up question asking if China will allow parents to provide religious education for their children, Liu said, "I think my answer is positive."