Northwest China county tells students not to go to mosque during holidays

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/18 23:03:40

Students of a Muslim-majority county in Northwest China have been banned from going to mosque during winter holidays by their education bureau, a staffer from the bureau confirmed with the Global Times on Thursday.

A notice issued by Gansu Province's Guanghe county education bureau on Monday reads, "Schools should require students to not enter religious venues for activities, nor attend scripture schools or religious venues for reading scripture during the winter holiday."

"Schools of all levels and kinds should further strengthen ideological and political work and enhance publicity work in order to inform each student and parent," the notice reads.

The direction the notice presented was "correct, because according to Chinese policy, religion and education should be separated," Xiong Kunxin, a professor of ethnic studies at Beijing's Minzu University of China, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The Education Law of China reads "The State separates education from religion. No organization or individual may make use of religion to conduct activities that interfere with the educational system of the State."

In May 2016, the education department of Gansu stressed that religious activities are forbidden in schools, except religious schools. The notice came after a video of a kindergarten girl reciting the Koran in Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture spread on the internet.

Guanghe county is one of eight counties under Linxia's jurisdiction. Guanghe's notice originated with the education bureau and was sent to all high schools, school districts, primary schools and kindergartens.

Guanghe county Party committee publicity department confirmed the notice with the Global Times on Thursday.

About 98 percent of Guanghe's 257,000 residents are members of ethnic minorities including Hui and Dongxiang people, according to the government website of Guanghe.

Hui and Dongxiang people are mostly Muslims.

Posted in: SOCIETY

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