Chinese political advisors call for early formulation of anti-cult law

Beijing, China - Chinese political advisors have called on the nation's legislature for drafting a systematic anti- cult law as early as possible to provide a solid legal foundation in the fight against cults.

The call was aired during the ongoing annual session of Chinese People's Political Consultative Congress (CPPCC), the top advisory body of China.

Master Gen Tong, vice chairman of the Buddhist Association of China and a CPPCC member, urged the legislature to sift through the existing laws and regulations of the country before giving a clear-cut definition of cults for the drafting of an anti-cult law.

"We really have some legal stipulations in some legal documents, but I don't think they are enough for providing a sound legal basis in our fight against cults," said the Buddhist monk.

One of the most important legal documents was a decision issued by the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC) in October 1999 on quashing cult organizations and preventing and punishing cult activities.

The Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate also issued legal interpretations on the decision, and the Ministry of Public Security formulated stipulations on handling cases related to cults.

"All this provides certain basis for the fight against cults," said Master Gen Tong.

However, he said, the absence of a complete anti-cult legal system cannot meet the need for the fight. "What we're going to do is to build a systematic and complete anti-cult legal system as early as possible."

He said that the abolition of cults is an important task to respect the international norm of human rights and protect people from the harms of cults.

France passed an anti-cult law in June 2001. Many other countries also have promulgated their laws on fighting cults, he noted. China should learn from their successful experience.