China bans religious names for Muslim babies

Prospective parents in China’s Xinjiang region – home to 10 of the country’s 23 million Muslims – will now have to consult a list of banned Islamic baby names or risk long-lasting consequences, it has been reported.

While names with religious meanings are used by Muslims around the world, authorities in the north-western region of Xinjiang have compiled a catalogue of names deemed to be “overly religious”, the US-funded Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported. Children with a banned name would be barred from the household registration system, or Hukou, which is necessary to access social services, healthcare and education.