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Decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Banning Cultist Organizations and Preventing and Punishing Cult-Related Activities
2004/06/16



  To ensure social stability, protect the interests of the people and guarantee the smooth progress of the reform and opening policies and the socialist modernization drive, cults are hereby banned, and their activities shall be prevented and punished. In accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws, decisions are hereby made as follows:

  1. Cults shall be resolutely banned, and crimes committed by cults severely punished according to law. Cults that have been found using religion, Qigong breathing exercises or other normally legal activities as camouflage to disturb public order by various means and endanger people's lives and property and economic development must be eradicated, and their activities resolutely punished, in accordance with the law. The People's Courts and People's Procuratorates, as well as the public security, state security and judicial administrative organs must each perform its own functions and coordinate their efforts to this end. Severe punishment must be meted out according to law to those who organize and use cults to hamper the implementation of the state's laws, administrative rules or regulations, gather unruly mobs, disturb public order, mislead others in ways that result in death to them, sexually exploit women, or swindle money or property by means of superstitious inveiglement.

  2. The principle of combining education with punishment should be adhered to, in order to unite with and educate the vast majority of those who have been deceived by cults, while severely punishing the handful of criminals who have deceived them, in accordance with the law. When dealing with cults, differential treatment should be extended to those who have participated in cult activities because of unawareness of the truth and those who have organized and used cults to conduct illegal activities and deliberately disrupt social stability. No action shall be taken against those who have been deceived by the organizers of cults. However, criminal sanctions to the fullest extent of the law shall be brought to bear on organizers, plotters, leaders and core members of cults if their actions are found to have constituted crimes. Leniency shall be extended to those who have voluntarily surrendered themselves or who have performed meritorious services; in such cases penalties may even be exempted, in accordance with the law.

  3. Publicity and educational activities concerning the Constitution and the nation's laws should be carried out in depth and in a sustained way, and scientific and cultural knowledge further spread among the general public. Banning cults and punishing cult-related activities in accordance with the law will contribute to the protection of normal religious activities and the citizens' freedom of religious belief. The general public should be helped to fully understand the nature of cults, which endanger humankind life and society in general, so that the people will oppose and resist the influence of cults conscientiously, increase their legal knowledge and abide by the nation's laws.

  4. The whole of society should be mobilized and organized to prevent and punish cultist activities. The people's governments and judicial organs at all levels should perform their specific functions conscientiously with the aim of maintaining social stability, and make the prevention of the breeding and propagation of cults and the prevention and punishment of cult-related activities a major and long-term task.

 





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