According to China Aid, a watchdog on religious persecution in Communist China, effective March 1, 2022, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has banned the word “Christ” on China’s social media platforms.
The banning was part of rules implemented under the Communist regime’s “Measures for the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services.”
The Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC), a house church movement that started in China in 2006, was one of the first to report the fallout of this new law.
China Aid reports that one of ERCC’s members was creating a survey on WeChat, a group messaging app, asking members to vote on their favorite Christian book.
Included on the list was one entitled, The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis.
As soon the member typed the word Christ, the WeChat app refused to allow the post to be uploaded and provided the following warning:
“The word ‘Christ’ you are trying to publish violates regulations on Internet Information Services, including but not limited to the following categories: pornography, gambling, and drug abuse; excessive marketing; incitement.”
Since ‘Christ’ did not fall under the categories of pornography and drug use, it was believed the app banned the word because it fell under the category of ‘incitement.’
The church member was only able to upload the poll after removing any reference to Christ from the message.
China Aid also reports that the new law requires any individuals or groups posting religious messages on the internet must first receive an “Internet Religious Information Service License.”
The CCP has banned social media platforms such as Twitter and YouTube in the Communist regime. But does allow Chinese equivalents to operate.
These platforms, such as WeChat, must allow the CCP to monitor and track all user activity on their apps. Since many of these apps are used outside of China, there are concerns that the CCP is also monitoring the activity of people in other countries.
It’s obvious, from the CCP’s banning of the word Christ, that the regime is concerned about the growing popularity of Christianity in the Communist regime.
A 2014 analysis of traffic on Weibo, the CCP’s approved Twitter equivalent, by Tea Leaf Nation found that Jesus was more popular on the platform than Mao Zedong, the founder of Communism and one of the world’s most infamous mass murderers.
Tea Leaf reported that in April 2014, Jesus also received 18 million weibies, as they are called, compared to only four million for the CCP’s ruling President, Xi Jinping.
In that same month, the Bible pulled in 17 million weibies compared to only 60,000 quotes from Mao Zedong’s little “Red Book”, a collection of sayings by the founder of China’s communist party.
Jesus addresses censorship on Palm Sunday
It is interesting that Jesus may have addressed the issue of censorship in the days leading up to His crucifixion.
As the Lord rode triumphantly into Jerusalem on a donkey, Palm Sunday, people were standing on both sides of the road proclaiming the “king who comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 19:38).
Several Pharisees in the crowd were incensed by what they were witnessing and told Jesus to quiet his disciples, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” (Luke 19:39).
Jesus responded that if they did not proclaim Jesus as king, God would cause the “stones to cry out” (Luke 19:40).
This is a proverbial statement that means if the government tries to stop people from proclaiming Christ or people practice self-censorship due to cultural pressures, God would cause unexpected sources to start proclaiming Jesus.
READ: New Chinese Law Bans the Word ‘Christ’ on Social Media, Says it Causes ‘Incitement’ AND Infographic: Jesus more popular than Mao on China’s Twitter: Tea Leaf AND Report: Jesus more popular on China’s Twitter than Chairman Mao: Newsmax