June has been a month of online slaughter for digital Christian fellowships in China.
Covid-19 was the perfect opportunity for China to launch a systematic attack on Christian fellowships in the name of ‘public health’. Official fellowships were systematically shut down and forced to go online, but after these fellowships went digital, China went on a rampage shutting down legal Christian fellowships and content providers, according to China Christian Daily.
Any popular Christian WeChat accounts with the word “fellowship” in it has been banned, along with the keywords “Bible,” “gospel,” or “Christ.” Here are just some of the examples:
- Hangzhou Chongyi Church of Zhejiang Province issued a notice on Tuesday – their account has been temporarily banned.
- “Today’s Nanjing Union Life”, the WeChat page of Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, the only national Protestant seminary in China – banned.
- The official account of Beijing Haidian Church, one of the official flagship churches in the country – banned.
- Shanghai Pure Heart Church, formerly known as “The First Presbyterian Church of Shanghai” – banned.
- Beijing Zhushikou Church – banned.
- Chongqing Holy Grace Church – banned.
- Huai’an Church of Jiangsu Province – banned.
- Nanjing Holy Word Church of Jiangsu Province – banned.
- Zhuhai Meihua Church of Guangdong Province – banned.
- Oak Tree Writing Studio – banned.
- Light & Salt Reading – banned.
- Beijing Green Olive Books Culture – banned.
- Campus Culture – banned.
- Perfect Page Bookstore – banned.
- New Renewal Culture – banned.
- Faith Weekly, a national Catholic newspaper in mainland China – banned.
- 9 Marks – a church leadership equipping and biblical resource page – banned.
The WeChat accounts of several TSPM-approved churches in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Yunnan – all banned.
Most illegal underground fellowships that BTJ is connected with never went online, but continued to meet in person, even against the Covid-19 restrictions and were not affected by the recent online slaughter. However, the Christians who are members of the official churches (which are approved, and in some ways, run by the government) have suffered the most from the recent campaign to destroy online Christian fellowships.