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SHANGHAI: China has drawn up new draft guidelines to crack down on the “chaotic” and illegal online promotion of religion, the official Global Times reported on Tuesday, part of a tough state campaign to bring religious worship into line.

All organisations engaged in the dissemination of religious information online will be obliged to apply for licences from provincial religious affairs departments, the paper said, citing a policy document issued on Monday.

While the licence will enable them to “preach and offer religious training”, they will not be allowed to live-stream or broadcast religious activities.

The dissemination of religious information anywhere other than their own internet platforms is also forbidden.

The guidelines also specifically prohibit online religious services from inciting subversion, opposing the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and promoting extremism and separatism.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2018