One of the world’s most powerful nations has issued a new draconian prohibition outlawing online discussions of religion and dissemination of religious content unless by five licensed and authorized groups. Guess who?
Already known for its religious persecution, China will put harsher laws into effect in March 2022 to restrict and stamp out certain types of online discussions about religion and disseminate religious materials, WND reported.
On December 21, Chinese authorities announced ‘overseas organizations’ and individuals are prohibited from operating online religious information services within the Chinese territory, organiser.org reported.
“The measures require an ‘Internet Religious Information Service License,’ which can only be granted to organizations part of the five authorized religions (since they should be ‘legally established,’ which is only possible within the five government-controlled organizations), to disseminate religious content via the internet. Any other reference to religion on the web is declared illegal,” Bitter Winter, an online magazine that focuses on religious faith in China, reported.
According to the report, organizations within the five authorized religions will be allowed to broadcast sermons and lessons, but they will still be subject to surveillance and limitations. Content must promote socialist values, support the party, and not be used as proselytizing tools.
“Religious universities and colleges may disseminate content via the Internet only to their students,” the report said. “Any attempt to spread religious content to minors or ‘induce minors to believe in religion’ will lead to the termination of the license,” the publication said.”
Even though China’s latest prohibitions have a sharper focus on Christianity, the nation has long oppressed Muslims and other religious groups. The Communist Party’s suppression of faith has involved all religions within its crackdown on the organizing and conducting of religious activities, including live broadcasting or recording religious ceremonies. Many people would find it surprising that China has also banned worshiping Buddha, burning incense, chanting, mass and baptism.
On December 7, the United States announced that it would send no official delegation to Beijing’s 2022 Olympic Winter games over concerns regarding China’s human rights records, the BBC reported. However, the White House said US athletes could attend and have the government’s full support.
On December 16, the United States announced the imposition of new sanctions on several Chinese biotech and surveillance companies and government entities over the abuse of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province in China’s Western region, NBC reported.