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China shuts down Bible App, Christian WeChat as new crackdown policies go into effect

China’s communist authorities are continuing their crackdown on Christianity by removing Bible Apps and Christian WeChat public accounts as new highly restrictive administrative measures on religious staff went into effect Saturday.

Father Francis Liu from the Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness said in a tweet that some Christian WeChat accounts, including “Gospel League” and “Life Quarterly,” were no longer available online, the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reported.

When someone tries to access those accounts, a message reads, “(We) received report that (this account) violates the ‘Internet User Public Account Information Services Management Provisions’ and its account has been blocked and suspended.”

Bible Apps have also been removed from the App Store in China, and Bibles in hard copy are no longer available for sale online either, ICC added. Bible Apps can only be downloaded in China with the use of a VPN.

Another sign of the ongoing crackdown is that bookstores owned by the state-sanctioned Three-self churches have increasingly been selling books that promote President Xi Jinping’s thoughts and communist ideology.