China shuts down popular Christian website amid crackdown on religious groups

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China has shut down a popular Christian website, “Jona Home”, in its latest attempt to crackdown Christianity in the country. According to a report, the site cannot be viewed anymore after about 21 years of its existence.

The U.S-based Christian persecution watchdog, International Christian Concern, said that the site put up a notice on its Home page which reads, “Due to reasons known to everyone, from now on our site can no longer serve brothers and sisters in Christ. Thanks to all for your company and support in the past 21 years.

“The disappearance of a website is merely a disappearance of a website, it does not carry any meaning. Except that the website link can no longer be opened, there is nothing else which stopped at that moment; Need not to be concerned, and just keep walking.”

Bitter Winter, a publication produced by the Center for Studies on New Religion which covers human rights issues in China, reported earlier that the Chinese Communist Party made a new legislation, known as Administrative Measures for Internet Religious Information Services, which was enacted on March 1, 2022.

The law mandates an “Internet Religious Information Service License” for any religious group that wants to disseminate religious content on the internet. However, it stipulated that only legally established organizations have the right to do so. This means that only groups that are part of the five authorized religions in China can use the internet to distribute religious content.

The five state-sanctioned religious groups in China are the Buddhist Association of China, the Protestant Three-Self Patriotic Movement, the Chinese Taoist Association, the Islamic Association of China, and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.

According to Open Doors USA, a group that covers persecution in over 60 countries, estimated that China has more than 97 million Christians. Many of these Christians worship in unregistered or so-called “illegal” underground churches.

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