Regulatory framework of China on large outdoor religious statues

2018 Regulations on Religious Affairs (official translation)
Effective from Feb. 1, 2018

Source: http://www.sara.gov.cn/flfg/330350.jhtml

Article 30    Where a religious body or a monastery, temple, mosque and church intends to construct a large outdoor religious statue on its premises, it shall be up to a religious body of a province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the Central Government to submit an application to the religious affairs department of the people’s government at the level of the province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the Central Government concerned. The said department shall, within 30 days from the date of receiving the application, put forward its proposal to the religious affairs department of the State Council for approval.

The religious affairs department of the State Council shall, within 60 days from the date of receiving a report on construction of a large outdoor religious statue, decide whether to approve or not approve the report.

No organization or individual other than a religious body or a monastery, temple, mosque and church shall construct a large outdoor religious statue.

It is forbidden to construct a large outdoor religious statue outside a monastery, temple, mosque and church.

Article 32    Local people’s governments at all levels shall, in light of actual needs, incorporate the construction of religious venues in their general land use planning and their urban and rural development planning.

The general land use planning, the urban and rural development planning, and the laws and regulations governing project construction and the protection of cultural relics shall be observed in building a religious venue and a large outdoor religious statue.

Article 53    No organization or individual that donates money to build a religious venue shall have the right of ownership or use of the venue or derive any economic benefit from it.

It is forbidden to make investment in, or contract out the running of, a religious venue or a large outdoor religious statue, and it is forbidden to carry out commercial publicity in the name of religion.

Article 72    Where a large outdoor religious statue is constructed in violation of these Regulations, the religious affairs department shall, together with the departments of land, planning, construction and tourism, order discontinuation of construction, set a deadline for its removal, and confiscates the illegal gains, if any; and if the circumstances are serious, a fine of not less than 5 percent but not more than 10 percent of the cost of construction shall also be imposed.

Where anyone invests in or contracts out a religious venue or a large outdoor religious statue, the religious affairs department shall, together with the departments of business, planning and construction, order it or him to make corrections and confiscate all illegal gains; and if the circumstances are serious, the registration authority shall revoke the registration certificate of the religious venue and investigate for the responsibility of the persons concerned.

2005 Religious Affairs Regulations (official translation)
Effective from Mar. 1, 2005

Source: http://www.cppcc.gov.cn/ccrp/2012/05/09/ARTI1336554114696658.shtml

Article 24    Where a religious body, monastery, temple, mosque or church intends to build a large-size outdoor religious statue outside the site for religious activities, the relevant religious body of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government shall make an application to the religious affairs department of the people’s government of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government, which shall, within 30 days from the date of receipt of the application, put forward its views, and, if it agrees to the building of such statue, make a report to the religious affairs department of the State Council for examination and approval.

The religious affairs department of the State Council shall, within 60 days from the date of receipt of the report on building a large-size outdoor religious statue outside the site for religious activities, make a decision of approval or disapproval.

No organization or individual other than religious bodies, monasteries, temples, mosques and churches may build large-size outdoor religious statues.

Article 44    Where, in violation of the provisions of these Regulations, anyone builds a large-size outdoor religious statue, the religious affairs department shall order it to discontinue the construction and to demolish the statue in a specified time limit; the illegal gains, if any, shall be confiscated.

Sichuan Provincial Regulations on Religious Affairs (unofficial translation)
Effective from Feb. 1, 2020.

Source: https://www.scspc.gov.cn/tzgg/201912/t20191202_36990.html

Article 24    The construction of religious activity sites and large-scale open-air religious statues shall comply with relevant laws and regulations such as national land space planning and engineering construction, cultural relics protection, intangible cultural heritage protection, and fire control management.

The local people’s government at or above the county level shall listen to the opinions of the religious affairs department and the religious circles in the preparation of national territorial and spatial planning and the implementation of urban and rural planning and project construction involving religious activity sites.

Article 28    Religious groups and temples and churches that apply for the construction of large-scale open-air religious statues in temples and churches shall submit for approval in accordance with relevant state regulations.

Religious groups, any organization or individual other than temples and churches are not allowed to build large-scale open-air religious statues.

It is forbidden to build large open-air religious statues outside temples and churches. It is prohibited to use projection, lighting or other means to create large-scale open-air religious images and images outside temples and churches.

Article 60    Any organization or individual who donates money to build a religious activity site shall not attach any conditions, shall not enjoy the ownership and use rights of the religious activity site, and shall not obtain economic benefits from the religious activity site.

It is prohibited for any organization or individual to conduct advertising activities, marketing and other commercial propaganda in the name of religion, and it is prohibited to invest in or contract to operate places for religious activities or large-scale open-air religious statues.

Sichuan Provincial Regulations on Religious Affairs (unofficial translation)
Effective from Nov. 30, 2006

Source: https://www.cecc.gov/resources/legal-provisions/sichuan-province-regulation-on-religious-affairs-chinese-text

Article 10    Preparations for the establishment and registration of places for religious activities shall be handled in accordance with the relevant provisions of the State Council’s Regulations on Religious Affairs.

No organization or individual may set up places for religious activities without authorization. Religious groups, organizations and individuals other than temples and churches are not allowed to build large-scale open-air religious statues.

Article 54    Whoever violates the provisions of these Regulations and organizes religious activities across administrative regions without authorization or builds large-scale open-air religious statues shall be handled in accordance with the provisions of Article 40, Paragraph 3 and Article 44 of the Regulations on Religious Affairs of the State Council.

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