Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Religious Policy
(832 words)

With regard to religious policy there has been marked continuity between the traditional Chinese state and the PRC. In imperial times (until 1911), the state already attempted to limit the influence of religion if it threatened to question its authority. Religions were only tolerated if they conformed to the Confucian state orthodoxy. Deviant, heterodox religions were regarded as subversive. This goal of state-control over religion continued during Republican times (1912-49) even though religious freedom was formally assured in Art. 12 of the Constitution of 1912.

In the PRC, re…

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Wenzel-Teuber, Katharina, “Religious Policy”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 01 February 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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