China has placed further restrictions on Christian content on social media platform WeChat, including the blocking of Christian search terms and removal of Christian accounts.
Key words such as “Christ,” “Bible” and “Gospel” appear to have been blocked, with searches for these terms bringing up no results on WeChat.
Several Christian WeChat accounts were removed from the platform on April 29.
Attempts to access these pages prompt a notification that the accounts have been “removed from use” due to “complaints” that they violate China’s Internet User Public Account Information Services Management Provisions.
Users have also complained that they have been blocked from uploading Christian videos to WeChat, while some Christian playlists have been removed from other music streaming services.
WeChat is China’s main social media platform, used for sharing written content as well as photos and videos in a manner similar to Facebook or Twitter, and as a messaging service similar to WhatsApp.
China’s new Measures for the Administration of Religious Personnel, announced in February, came into effect on May 1.