Authorities in China have ordered that children are to be banned from attending religious sermons, churches.

The ban also prohibits children from joining religious groups and other activities across the country.

According to reports, this is in a bid to tighten the Chinese government’s grip on religious activities.

This 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.

Earlier this month, over one hundred churches in Wenzhou, China’s Zhejiang province reportedly received a notice from government officials informing them that young people will be banned from entering churches.

Dailymail reports also that minors are also reportedly banned from participating in religious activities.

Members of the church were told not to participate in religious activities and churches were not allowed to organise a youth summer camp.

William Nee, researcher for Amnesty International told MailOnline:

‘China is in the midst of a religious revival and the current government seems concerned that religion could be a means through which foreign values may ‘penetrate’ into China and ultimately affect political stability.’

The Communist Party of China already stipulates that members and CCP officials can not believe in religion.

According to UCA News, the ban also promises that officials will investigate government approved churches and underground congregations who operate outside the tightly controlled Beijing-run Catholic and Protestant Churches.

In 2014, there was a public outcry in China’s Zhejiang province after churches were ordered to remove their crosses with some churches demolished.

Within seven months, three churches were demolished and over 360 crosses including those from Catholic churches were taken down.

Officials used the excuse of the crosses being too large and not according with government guidelines.

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