China Bans Talking About God Online

( Everybody already knows that China is pretty relentless in its efforts to control the way its citizens think and behave, but reports from an online magazine that focuses on religion in China reveal how the country is further cracking down on religious freedom.

Bitter Winter reports how the Chinese Communist Party has recently implemented new “Administrative Measures for Internet Religious Information Services” which will change the way that people communicate online about religious issues.

The new measures were incorporated by the Administration of Religious Affairs, as well as the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the National Internet Information Office, and require organizations hold an “Internet Religious Information Service License” before disseminating religious information online.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as applying for such a license, as it will only be guaranteed to organizations that represent one of the five authorized religions – yes, authorized religions – in the country.

Even then, organizations within those five authorized religions aren’t allowed to freely promote religious content. Instead, they are forced to abide by strict rules and regulations and are intensely monitored by the government to ensure that they never step out of line.

The report reveals how any other reference to religion on the internet, by anyone without any such license, is officially declared illegal in China.

Authorized organizations are able to broadcast sermons and lessons, but all content published will be checked by Chinese authorities to make sure it is “Sinicized” content, and to ensure that the lessons promote the Chinese Communist Party and socialist values.

In other words, religion is only allowed in China so long as it can be used as a tool to promote communism.