by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Christians in China are suffering under regulations rolled out this year, which impose heavy restrictions on online sharing of religious content, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.
The CCP’s “Administrative Measures for Internet Religious Information Services” were partially rolled out on 1 March and were fully implemented across China on September 1, ICC said.
Comprising 36 articles, the regulations stipulate that online preaching and the sharing of religious content can only be carried out by state-approved religious organizations that have been given the “Internet Religious Information Service License.” Such organizations would include churches belonging to the Three-Self church movement, a Protestant state-controlled denomination that is infused with communist and nationalist teaching. Evangelical individuals and congregations have been persecuted by the state for refusing to join the Three-Self movement.
The new rules are part of the CCP’s Sinicization program designed to monitor and suppress Christianity and other minority faiths in favor of teaching Chinese nationalism and communism. Since the regulations first took effect, house churches have had their WeChat accounts deactivated, and their websites shut down or severely restricted, ICC reports. Evangelical churches and Christian organizations are now waiting to see how full implementation of the rules affects them.
Concerning the monitoring of Christian activity in China, Open Doors USA said in a website statement: “Surveillance in China is among the most oppressive and sophisticated in the world. Church attendance is rigorously monitored, and many churches are being closed down—whether they are independent or belong to the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (the officially state-sanctioned Protestant church in China).”
Ruled by the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party (CCP), China ranks 17th on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
If you are interested in articles produced by Worthy News, please check out our FREE sydication service available to churches or online Christian ministries. To find out more, visit Worthy Plugins.