Chinese authorities are reportedly stepping up their campaign against Muslims in the north-western region of Xinjiang.
According to sources in the region, ethnic minority Muslim families are being forced to hand in religious items including the Koran and prayer mats.
They face severe punishment if they are discovered.
According to Radio Free Asia, reports have emerged from Kashgar, Hotan and other regions of similar practices starting last week.
According to local officials, Xinjiang authorities earlier this year, began removing all Korans published more than five years ago due to extremist content.
The Korans were taken as part of the ‘Three Illegals and One Item’ campaign that was underway in Xinjiang, which is against ‘illegal’ religious items owned by mostly Muslim Uyghurs.
This operation bans ‘illegal’ publicity, religious activities, religious teaching, and items believed to be tools of terrorism including flammable objects, and knives.
China says it is facing threats from domestic cults and radical Islam, however, critics have accused Beijing of a broader pattern of harassment, detention and abuse.
According to a copy of the regulations posted on the State Council’s official website the latest measures focus on ‘maintaining legality, blocking extremism, and attacking crime’.