China further Tightens Online Religious Repression
China and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
On March 1st, 2022, new “Administrative measures for religious information services on the internet” eventually came into force. These measures had been already approved by the China State Council, in conjunction with the State Ministry of Security on December 3rd, 2021. China’s implementation of such measures on the pretext of improving the “democratic” control over religions, implies further restrictions on the freedom of religion and speech by the Chinese Communist Party.
Indeed, henceforth religious minorities will not be able to carry out online religious activities, training, sermons, or content sharing without obtaining first a specific license granted only and exclusively by the government. According to Thomas Muller, the Asia analyst for the Christian anti-persecution charity Open Doors, the new measures will completely prevent several religious minorities from spreading online acts of faith, while further restricting and examining those who are currently “recognized” as legitimately established in China.
Following the events, many religious groups have already stopped posting, as well as canceling WeChat groups, fearing negative repercussions on their safety. China’s “democratic” intent has further tightened religious repression to ensure the Sinicization of people by gradually banning any foreign intrusion.
Sources and further reading:
Paveley, R. (2022, March 4). China curbs faith expression online. Church Times.