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World News

Censors ban the word 'Christ' from the Internet in China

by Glyn Jones

Censors in China have told a group of Christians that including the word "Christ" in an internet post breaks new government rules.

Internet firm WeChat, which is estimated to be used by more than eight-out-of-ten people in China, instructed the Early Rain Covenant Church to remove the word.

Andrew Boyd, from the pressure group Release International, has condemned the censorship. He says it shows how severely Christians will be affected by new legislation introduced by the Chinese government.

"WeChat, in responding to that, has pulled down a church's reference to the word 'Christ'.

"It considers it to be on a par with pornography, drug dealing and inciting rebellion in China"

The Early Rain Covenant Church had wanted to promote a reading list of Christian books. 

Andrew Boyd says one of the books was 'The Imitation of Christ' by Thomas à Kempis, which was first published in Medieval Latin in the fifteenth century. But the WeChat censors abjected to the word 'Christ'.

"That's now considered to be seditious, it appears, in China."

Boyd says Christians are trying to find ways to get around the ban. "The only way the church has managed to get anything online with the word 'Christ' in is to change one of the letters for a number or a figure. 

"That is the most extraordinary form of censorship and it just shows what is actually going on today in China."

Release International says that despite China's Constitution containing a guarantee of Freedom of Religion, the discrimination the country's Christian minority face every day tells a different story. 

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