Beijing, Jan 8 (IANS) Chinese authorities in charge of religious affairs will register all clergy members across the country by the end of the year, in an effort to help the public identify fake religious priests.
Wang Zuo'an, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, said Tuesday that more than 95 percent of clergy members have registered in the country, Xinhua reported.
China launched the registration of religious workers in 2010. It requires all clergy to be approved by relevant religious organisations.
They also have to register at administrative organs that handle religious affairs.
The authorities will create a national database and online information query system for religious affairs, Wang said.
The system will help protect the legitimate rights and interests of those within religious circles and help the public identify fake religious staff, he said.
China has about 360,000 clergy members, and more than 17,000 of them are also members of local or national legislative or political advisory bodies, participating in the country's decision-making procedures.