Streaming Church Services Banned in China

We understand from other sources that some believers are able to work around the ban that is described in the following report, but the ban is real and conditions are always oppressive in China. It is not the land of the free, and we need to pray for God’s people and the work of the gospel there. The following is excerpted from, Apr. 7, 2020: “Churches around the world are staying in contact online during the COVID-19 pandemic, but such an action remains illegal in China. The watchdog Bitter Winter reported April 5 that very few organizations, and ‘only those that hold state-issued licenses,’ can stream religious services online in China. ‘We can’t get together because of the pandemic,’ an underground house church pastor in the province of Jiangxi told Bitter Winter. The pastor tried to stream a sermon Feb. 9 through an app, but was stopped. ‘Our first and only online gathering was blocked by the government soon after it started,’ the preacher said. That same day, another house church pastor, in the province of Shandong, also tried to stream online services. ‘The meeting was stopped less than 20 minutes after the start,’ Bitter Winter reported. A 2018 Chinese law bans streaming services. ‘No organizations or individuals will be allowed to live-stream or broadcast religious activities, including praying, burning incense, ordinations, scripture chanting, holding Mass, worshipping or receiving baptism online in the form of text, photo, audio or video,’ the law says. On Feb. 23, the government-approved Two Chinese Christian Councils of Shandong Province issued a notice ‘demanding all churches in the province to stop live-streaming their services immediately,’ Bitter Winter reported. On Feb. 28, the United Front Work Department of the Nanhu district in Jiaxing, a government organization in Zhejiang province, said it would investigate all online activities by state-approved churches. Churches in China must register with the government and join either the Three-Self Patriotic Movement or the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. But because these state-approved churches face severe restrictions, millions of Christians worship in illegal underground churches.”

(Friday Church News Notes, April 17, 2020,,, 866-295-4143)