The Chinese Government has banned children from attending churches in the country in a bid to tighten their grip on religious activities.
The ban also prohibits children from attending religious sermons and other activities in several provinces across the country.
The ban comes after over one hundred churches in Wenzhou, China’s Zhejiang province reportedly received a notice from government officials informing them that young people will be banned from entering churches.
According to UCA News, the ban also promises that officials will investigate government approved churches and underground congregations who operate outside the tightly controlled Beijing-run Catholic and Protestant Churches.
A researcher for Amnesty International, William Nee, who spoke to MailOnline UK, said, “At this point, it’s unclear how widespread the ban on children attending church services are in China, but these alarming reports seem to be coming in from fairly diverse areas throughout the country.”
Nee further said that the move reflects the tightening control of religion in “particular Islam and Christianity under the present administration” in the Asian country.
She added, “In an important speech on religion last year, the President, Xi Jinping, said that young people must study science, believe in science and develop a ‘correct’ worldview and set of values.
“It could be that the government is concerned that young people going to church or religious activities may challenge their monopoly on truth and the government’s ability to instill its own historical narratives and worldview through the public education system.”