RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: China Targets Christian Communication In Latest Digital Crackdown

Written by Wes Walker on May 4, 2021

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Silicon Valley and China’s Communist Party have something in common — leveraging tech to silence people whose ideas they oppose.

In the West, these ideas are mostly political. In China, they’re cracking down on religious freedom as well.

It’s not a new thing for Christians to see Chinese censors exercising control over their online activities. But there had been certain workarounds by which they could enjoy some small measure of freedom.

Some apps allow, for example, encrypted communication between users, so that the CCP cannot spy on what is actually said between users, or track who is talking to whom.

With China stepping up their opposition to freedom of worship — including recent changes to law declaring the Communist Party has a final say on which bishops the Catholic Church can set over congregations — that’s about to change.

China’s communist authorities are continuing their crackdown on Christianity by removing Bible Apps and Christian WeChat public accounts as new highly restrictive administrative measures on religious staff went into effect Saturday.

Father Francis Liu from the Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness said in a tweet that some Christian WeChat accounts, including “Gospel League” and “Life Quarterly,” were no longer available online, the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reported.

When someone tries to access those accounts, a message reads, “(We) received report that (this account) violates the ‘Internet User Public Account Information Services Management Provisions’ and its account has been blocked and suspended.”

Bible Apps have also been removed from the App Store in China, and Bibles in hard copy are no longer available for sale online either, ICC added. Bible Apps can only be downloaded in China with the use of a VPN. — ChristianPost

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