China Monitoring Churches’ Social Media

“Day-to-day online activities by Christians also are monitored. Members of a Three-Self church in the province of Henan received a notice from their pastor in January demanding they dissolve their groups on We Chat, a social media app. In February, a village official forced a Christian resident to ‘change his We Chat account profile picture’ because it contained an image of a cross, Bitter Winter reported. Churches and their members are prohibited from saying anything negative about the government or spreading information about the pandemic that isn’t government-approved. ‘The Public Security Bureau has information on all members of every We Chat group, and network inspections are carried out, especially strict during the pandemic,’ a Three-Self pastor from Shandong told Bitter Winter. Persecution has worsened during the pandemic. ‘Encouraged by the government, many factories and public venues have been re-opened, but religious venues are still barred,’ a Three-Self believer from Henan province said. ‘Religious meetings are forbidden, and all channels of religious communication are blocked.’”, Apr. 7, 2020