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.