Chinese Church Voices

Closer Scrutiny of Chinese Christian Media

Chinese Church Voices is an occasional column of the ChinaSource Blog providing translations of original writing by Christians in China. The views represented are entirely those of the original author; inclusion in Chinese Church Voices does not imply or equal an endorsement by ChinaSource.

ChinaSource has frequently noted the presence and prominence of Chinese Christian online media. Indeed, one of the primary reasons why this blog, Chinese Church Voices, began was to share with our English-speaking readership the plethora of writings and resources being distributed openly online on Chinese platforms. Despite ever-present government censors and opaque restrictions, Chinese Christians have been adept at deploying online Christian materials.

This article from China Christian Daily, however, notes that some Christian media platforms have recently come under closer scrutiny. Are Chinese Christians facing tougher restrictions online? Will they once again be able to find ways to use media? Stay tuned to Chinese Church Voices.

Christian-themed Videos More Restricted on Mainstream Platforms in China

Censorship on Christian-themed videos seems to be stricter on an increasing number of media platforms.

One Christian, live broadcast channel recently said that one of their programs was canceled and they were denied permission to give lectures on Renrenjiang, one of the biggest live broadcast platforms in China.

At the same time, a large number of sermon videos have disappeared from mainstream online video platforms such as Tencent and Youku in the past two years.

[Sources from] the Christian channel said that they had been doing live broadcasts over the last two months, and the main topics were dealing with social changes and domestic pressure in the post-pandemic age. However, one program about a pastor nurturing deaf followers in northern China was canceled after its release. The platform contacted the customer service of Renrenjiang, and they replied that the program about religion was against their policy.

Renrenjiang, winning more users than ever due to the pandemic, has now more than 10 thousand individuals or institutions as lecturers. They come from all kinds of backgrounds and fields such as music, dancing, photography, cosmetics, handicrafts, etc. Lectures on the platform have accumulated profits of more than one million.

On the homepage of Renrenjiang, it emphasizes its convenience for lecturers so that they can easily start teaching online in three steps. First, download the app and register with a Wechat account. Second, create a lecture with an intro and choose the payment type. Third, begin the lecture with a smartphone or a computer or simply upload a recorded video.

One may wonder [what] if there is something wrong with the content, such as it is too violent for children since the app is easily accessible for anyone with a smartphone. However, there is no stated policy on its homepage, so the censorship seems to be arbitrary.

Since it became impossible to post on the platform of Renrenjiang, the blocked Christian channel also quit posting new feeds on the weekly programs they had been producing via Wechat.

Apart from the live broadcast platform, rumor has it that the National Administration of Radio and Television is about to release a new regulation to ban 20 categories of content in radio, film, and TV aired in China.

As listed in a news report from Sohu News, the restricted topics and categories include: spiritual connections, demons, reincarnation, superstition; no mocking of religion, no disrespect for minority culture, no advertising of weapons or promoting war, no portrayal of western countries as the imaginary enemy, and others. Even though the regulation has not been put into practice, some worry that it may influence the production of Christian-themed movies or content. 

Original Article: Christian-themed Videos More Restricted on Mainstream Platforms in China by China Christian Daily.
Edited and reposted with permission.

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Image Credit: Deborah Windham from Pixabay.
ChinaSource Team

ChinaSource Team

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