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Chinese government bans streaming of church services online

East Asia

Chinese government bans streaming of church services online

Photo credit: Barnabas Fund

Chinese authorities are moving to ban the streaming of church services online in a crackdown on internet evangelism that will mean that anyone wishing to create a religious website will need specific permission.

On 10 September, the Chinese government announced new draft measures to control online religious activity. The measures will include a ban on the live streaming of church services and all forms of internet evangelism. Religious websites are not banned, but require a licence from the authorities and are not permitted to be used to publicise religious texts.

Bibles authorised to be printed in China are permitted to be sold, but only in state-registered churches. In April 2018, Chinese Christians began to report that Bibles were disappearing from online retailer websites, who were informed the Bible was an “illegal publication”. It appears that online access to the Scriptures and now church services are being systematically curtailed by authorities.