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China Tries to Rule Out Islam

China, an officially atheist government, closely controls the five recognized religions — Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Taoism, and Buddhism. China keeps an especially close look at the northwestern Xinjiang region, where Islamic and separatist ties are strong. This weekend's New York Times took a look into how a rising China wants to blunt the rise of Islam.

Some restrictions include:

  • Sermons at Friday Prayer cannot be longer than a half-hour.
  • Prayer in public, outside the mosque, is forbidden.
  • Many residents can only worship in mosques located in their cities.
  • Government workers and Communist Party members cannot attend services.
  • Non-official versions of the Koran are illegal.
  • Only special government school may teach Arabic.
  • Students and government workers must eat during Ramadan.

China seems more concerned with freedom from religion, than freedom of religion.


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