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President Xi Jinping
President Xi Jinping
Photo: Voice of America

After Chinese President Xi Jinping lamented that social media and the Internet are being used throughout the country to proselytize for religion, it was recently announced that new restrictions will soon be implemented; measures that would severely impede Chinese citizens' access to religious content. These new measures are scheduled to take effect on March 1st.

With the increased restrictions, only those who've obtained an "Internet Religious Information Service License" will be permitted to post religious content online. However, the license will only be made available to five authorized religious groups whose messaging content will be strictly monitored. Their sermons and teachings may only be permitted to broadcast after evaluation to ensure the messaging is not intended for proselytization but rather sufficiently promotes the government's socialist values.

The new restrictions state that religious colleges and universities may only provide material to their own students, and any attempts to spread religious content to minors will result in the termination of licenses. Any individual or organization that does not have a license may not disseminate any religious content or even allude to religion. Furthermore, all images and content related to religious ceremonies, such as worship or baptismal services, are to be strictly prohibited.

Opposition to unregistered religious groups has been escalating over recent years throughout China. The increase of such highly restrictive measures, including the forthcoming Internet policies, can be used as an added tool to impose legal action against those who do not actively promote the agenda of the Chinese Communist Party. For more on the persecution of Christians in China, go to our country report.

Pray for the continued boldness of believers in China who are seeking to follow in the footsteps of Christ amid these repressive governmental policies. May God's Holy Spirit guide the hearts and minds of each believer as they determine the best means of fulfilling Christ's Great Commission, and thus ultimately obeying Him by reaching out to others with the Gospel message. Ask the Lord to also touch the hearts of President Xi Jinping and his advisors so they will realize the futility of their opposing ways, grant religious liberty to all citizens, and allow believers the freedom to share their faith.

Current Ministry Projects

The Voice of the Martyrs Canada continues to help distribute Bibles to Christians in the country, making it possible for them to have their own printed version of God's Word. Additionally, VOMC works with various mission partners to facilitate a Biblical understanding of persecution and discipleship, while presenting ways to effectively respond and minister within the context of hostility.

Project Funds: Bibles, Equipping the Saints, Underground Church

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
1,394,015,977 (July 2020 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Han Chinese (91.6), Zhuang (1.3), Other (7.1)

Religion (%)
Buddhism (18.2), Christianity (5.1), Islam (1.8), folk religion (21.9), Hinduism (<0.1), Judaism (<0.1), other (0.7), unaffiliated (52.2)

Leader
President Xi Jinping (2013)

Government type
Communist party-led state

Legal system
Based on civil law system; influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems

Sources: CIA World Factbook

Pray for China

Pray that the Gospel will be proclaimed throughout China without government interference so many more names can be added to the Lamb's "Book of Life." May there also be a spirit of unity demonstrated among the country's growing churches, further strengthening existing believers and spurring them on in their ministry service and evangelistic outreach within the country's numerous communities.

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