CHINA: Twenty banned religious groups

FOREF (15.10.2018) – – On September 18, 2017, the revamped China Anti-Cult (xie jiao) website reiterated the list of banned groups which had been listed publicly in 2014. Of the total 20 groups, eleven were listed as being “dangerous”:


  1. Falun Gong (法轮功)
  2. The Church of Almighty God (全能神)
  3. The Shouters (呼喊派)
  4. The Disciples Society (⻔门徒会)
  5. Unification Church (统⼀一教)
  6. Guanyin Method (观⾳音法⻔门)
  7. Bloody Holy Spirit (⾎血⽔水圣灵)
  8. Full Scope Church (全范围教会)
  9. Three Grades of Servants (三班仆⼈人派)
  10. True Buddha School (灵仙真佛宗)
  11. Mainland China Administrative Deacon Station (中华⼤大陆⾏行行政执事站)

See the full article (25 pages) as published by CESNUR earlier this year: The Black-Lists: The Evolution of China’s List of “Illegal and Evil Cults” by Edward A. Irons


In China, departments under the central government have published lists of banned and illegal religious groups since 1995. This practice can be seen as an extension of traditional ways of categorizing heterodox associations dating back to imperial times. Groups on the current list are often identified as xie jiao—normally translated as “evil cults.” The list is thus directly connected to questions of the categorization of religion in China. The study of the lists provides insight into the government’s evolving policy on religion, as well as the legal environment for religious activity.



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