In a bid to tighten their grip on religious activities in the country, authorities in China have banned children from attending churches.
The new directive also prohibits them from attending religious sermons and other related activities across the country.
Control on the country’s churches began several years ago when places of worship were ordered to remove crosses from their buildings in Zhejiang Province.
William Nee, researcher for Amnesty International told MailOnline: “At this point it’s unclear how widespread the ban on children attending church services are in China, but these alarming reports seem to be coming in from fairly diverse areas throughout the country.”
Speaking further, Nee said that the move reflects the tightening control of religion in particular Islam and Christianity under the present administration in the Asian country.
Her told MailOnline that: “In an important speech on religion last year, the President, Xi Jinping, said that young people must study science, believe in science and develop a ‘correct’ worldview and set of values.
“It could be that the government is concerned that young people going to church or religious activities may challenge their monopoly on truth and the government’s ability to instill its own historical narratives and worldview through the public education system.”