China bans Ramadan fast in Muslim northwest

BEIJING — Students and civil servants in China’s Muslim northwest, where Beijing is enforcing a security crackdown following deadly unrest, have been ordered to avoid taking part in traditional fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Statements posted Wednesday on websites of schools, government agencies and local party organizations in the Xinjiang region said the ban was aimed at protecting students’ wellbeing and preventing use of schools and government offices to promote religion. Statements on the websites of local party organizations said members of the officially atheist ruling party also should avoid fasting.

“No teacher can participate in religious activities, instill religious thoughts in students or coerce students into religious activities,” said a statement on the website of the No. 3 Grade School in Ruoqiang County in Xinjiang.

h/t LS

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