Beijing has launched a heavy-handed round of censorship against Christian social media platforms, even including some endorsed by the Chinese government, according to a priest based in the United States.
Since April, religious news organizations in China have reported a “large-scale crackdown” on downloadable Bibles and online content platforms hosted by Chinese Christian communities, according to a report published by Radio Free Asia on Thursday.
The censorship has grown more oppressive this month, with the banning of increasing numbers of public pages belonging to Christian groups on China’s popular Weixin social media platform, Father Francis Liu was quoted as saying in the RFA report. Liu represents the Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness, based in San Jose, California.
Liu described it as an “indiscriminate crackdown,” adding that even certain government-endorsed Christian groups have had their pages removed.
For example, a page posted by the Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, China’s only nationwide Christian education institution, now carries the sentence “Upon complaints by users and reviews, the account has been suspended for suspicion of violation of relevant laws and regulations.”
The crackdown is an attempt to prevent the spread of Christianity “to the greatest extent,” Liu said.
“For the Chinese Communist government, [social media] is a grey area where religious content can be spread without it being monitored and controlled. Perhaps [the government believes] the most convenient thing to do is to stop it altogether,” he said.
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