Reports of ill-treatment of Tian Dao (Yiguandao) religious practitioners [CHN103303.E]

Reports of ill-treatment of Tian Dao religious practitioners could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate; however, the following information may be of interest.

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Leipzig and a master from the World I-Kuan Tao Headquarters both indicated that Tian Dao has various spellings, including, amongst others, Yiguandao (Professor of Chinese Studies 29 Oct. 2009; World I-Kuan Tao Headquarters 2 Nov. 2009). The Professor and the Master also indicated that Tian Dao remains illegal in China (Professor of Chinese Studies 29 Oct. 2009; World I-Kuan Tao Headquarters 2 Nov. 2009).

In 30 November 2009 correspondence, an associate professor of sociology at the Center on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University stated that he is not aware of reports of ill-treatment of members of Yiguandao in China (30 Nov. 2009). The Professor of Chinese Studies offered the following general information:

… Yiguandao like other technically illegal religious groups operate at best in an administrative grey area. Depending on local conditions, they may have to exist in total secrecy or they could openly run publicly accessible and visible premises. A lot depends on the political climate and attitudes prevailing among local, regional, and provincial authorities. There are areas of China, for example, where (again, technically illegal) Protestant house churches operate openly without much interference from local authorities, while in other regions house church leaders may end up in labour camps. Yiguandao groups, generally speaking, are given less political leeway than Christian groups, though recently there have been signs that official attitudes toward Yiguandao are shifting towards a greater tolerance. (29 Oct. 2009)

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Associate Professor of Sociology, Center on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University, Indiana. 30 November 2009. Correspondence.

Professor of Chinese Studies, University of Leipzig, Germany. 29 October 2009. Correspondence.

World I-Kuan Tao Headquarters. 2 November 2009. Correspondence from a master.

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Human Rights in China (HRIC) and an assistant professor of sociology from Peking University did not respond within the time constraints of this Response.

Internet sites, including: Amnesty International (AI), Asia Observer, Asia Society, Asia Times Online, The China Post [Taipei], Dui Hua Foundation, European Country of Origin Information Network (, Factiva, The Guardian [London], Human Rights in China (HRIC), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Jamestown Foundation, The People's Daily [Beijing], Radio Free Asia (RFA), Refugee Review Tribunal - Australia, Taiwan News Online, United Kingdom (UK) Border Agency, United Nations (UN) Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), United States (US) Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), US Department of State, World I-Kuan Tao Headquarters, Xinhua News Agency,