China Shutting Down Christian Online Media

“Many Chinese Christians are lamenting that the winter of internet mission in China is entering its darkest and coldest hour. This week, Chinese state media reported the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) has announced its ‘Measures for the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services,’ which will come into effect on March 1 and will restrict online ministry to Chinese government-approved religious groups with special permits on government-approved websites. ‘No organization or individual shall preach on the Internet, carry out religious education and training, publish sermon content, forward or link to related content, organize and conduct religious activities on the Internet, or live broadcast or post recorded videos of religious rituals…’ without approval, stipulates the new regulation jointly formulated by five government bodies, including the Ministries of Public and National Security. A few months ago I learned that our ministry’s second main WeChat channel had been permanently shut down by the Chinese government, less than a month after our first channel was removed. Hundreds of thousands of followers just evaporated overnight. WeChat is a huge, all-powerful monster social media platform. Chinese people use WeChat to place orders, to pay for tickets, and to do almost everything. Christian content has been almost omnipresent on WeChat for the past 10 years. Then unfortunately, almost every major Chinese Christian channel was deleted on WeChat by June. The Chinese government’s policy applies to all social media. Websites face the same problem and are even more likely to be blocked.”

“Chinese Christian Media Ministries Facing Bitter Winter of Censorship,” Christianity Today, Dec. 24, 2021, by Jerry An of Reframe Ministries