Christian-themed Videos More Restricted on Mainstream Platforms in China

A video camera records a talking program.
A video camera records a talking program. (photo:
By Catherine ZhengAugust 5th, 2020

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

One Christian live broadcast outlet 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.

The Christian outlet 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 outlet 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, handicraft, etc. Lectures on the platform have accumulated profits of more than one million.

On the homepage of Renrenjiang, it emphasized 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 some 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 if there is something wrong with the content, such as if it is too violent for kids since the app is easily accessible for anyone with a smartphone. However, there is no such policy on its homepage, so the censorship seems to be arbitrary.

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

Apart from the live broadcast platform, rumor said that the National Administration of Radio and Television was 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 categories included: no spiritual attaching, no demons, no re-carnations or superstition; no mocking of religion and respect the minority culture; no publicity on weapons or wars, do not take the western countries as the imaginary enemy and so on. Even though the regulation has not been put into practice, some worry that it may influence the production of Christian-themed movies or works coming in other forms. 

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