After Chinese President Xi Jinping lamented that social media and the Internet are being used throughout the country to proselytise, it was recently announced that new restrictions will soon be implemented; measures that would severely impede Chinese citizens’ access to religious content. These new measures are scheduled to take effect of 1 March.
With the increased restrictions, only those who’ve obtained an “Internet Religious Information Service Licence” will be permitted to post religious content online.
However, the licence will only be made available to five authorised religious groups whose messaging content will be strictly monitored. Their sermons and teachings may only be permitted to broadcast after evaluation to ensure the messaging is not intended for proselytisation but rather sufficiently promotes the government’s socialist values.
The new restrictions state that religious colleges and universities may only provide material to their own students, and any attempts to spread religious content to minors will result in the termination of licenses. Any individual or organisation that does not have a licence may not disseminate any religious content or even allude to religion. Furthermore, all images and content related to religious ceremonies, such as worship or baptismal services, are to be strictly prohibited.
Opposition to unregistered religious groups has been escalating over recent years throughout China. The increase of such highly restrictive measures, including the forthcoming Internet policies, can be used as an added tool to impose legal action against those who do not actively promote the agenda of the Chinese Communist Party.
Source: ChinaAid, Bitter Winter
Let us pray.
- Pray for the continued boldness of believers in China who are seeking to follow in the footsteps of Christ amid these repressive governmental policies.
- May God’s Holy Spirit guide the hearts and minds of each believer as they determine the best means of fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission.
- Ask the Lord to also touch the hearts of President Xi Jinping and his advisors.