World Watch Monitor, January 15, 2020
A case can be made that today there are more Christians in China than members of the Communist Party. Christians appear to threaten President Xi Jinping’s government as they worship a higher power than him and the Party. But it would be impossible to imprison at least 90 million Christians as they have done to a million Uighur Muslims.
So China and other authoritarian states, which already heavily restrict ‘religious freedom’, are stepping up their use of biometric technology and artificial intelligence.
Children under 18 are now strictly forbidden to attend churches, especially in Henan where the percentage of Christians is among the highest. In Xinjiang, one officially-sanctioned church requires congregants to queue for facial-recognition checks.
A Social Credit System (SCS), rating everyone to reward good citizenship and punish bad, is reportedly adding penalties for those who “illegally spread Christianity”.
Online resources are a major source of encouragement for Christians. Online sharing will now be allowed only when the religious affairs department has issued a license for it.
In addition, the mass media continue to mischaracterize Christians as ‘agents of the West’.