China has made it mandatory for the residents of Muslim-dominated ‘Xinjiang’ province to "report" on any religious activities in the area.
Xinjiang is largely inhabited by Uighur Muslims who have long said that the Chinese government's policies in the region are against the U.N.'s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
However, according to a report in ‘Global Times’, the government’s directions in this regard are aimed at assisting with the residents' religious practices.
"Xinjiang has established religious committees and residential communities to manage religious practices since September, requiring local residents to report their religious activities or activities attended by religious people, including circumcision, weddings and funerals," La Disheng, a professor at the Party School of the Communist Party, told Global Times.
However, the real motive behind this move becomes clear when the report quotes a white paper on religious beliefs to underline growing religious extremism in the region.
“A white paper on freedom of religious beliefs in the Xinjiang released in June said religious extremism has been spreading in Xinjiang in recent years, which has turned some people into extremists or terrorists involved in a series of deadly terror attacks.” the report said.
The report adds that a flag-raising ceremony is held every Monday in local communities and mosques, and residents who attend the ceremony are required to sing the national anthem and salute the national flag.