There’s been a lot of things in new technologies which a couple of years ago (and some even now) sound like they came straight out of cheesy sci-fi movies. I’ve been reading a lot when I have time, on some of the things and I’d like to go more into them one of these days, but today I want to focus on what’s happening in China that not many are reporting on. Not many are talking about it either, although I did see a comment from SJS a few weeks ago where he brought it up and I was glad to see someone else had been keeping up.
Most folks here are probably aware of the ramped up efforts of the Communist regime to ‘meld’ the church and state in China. That’s not new, as the state run Three Self ‘church’has been around for decades now. Persecution of the underground church has been going on for a long time as well, but it’s getting worse again under (I’m going to call him chairman because he’s acting a lot like Mao) Xi.
It’s not only Christians the communist government is going after- Muslims and other minority groups are also becoming enemies of the state. But let’s focus on Christians, and this is against Catholics as well as Protestants.
Side note here, I read this rather disturbing piece of news a few days ago (I think Daisy passed it along to me, but my brain is tired and I can’t remember now). Pope Francis basically threw the devout Catholic underground under the bus…
Apparently according to reports, Francis recently endorsed the legitimacy of seven Chinese bishops, appointed by Beijing without the Vatican’s approval. What does that mean? Basically besides the fact that under the deal, two Vatican-aligned Chinese bishops, recognized by the pope, have been asked by a top Vatican diplomat to resign in favor of state-sanctioned prelates… it means that state approved bishops will be in charge of Catholic parishes in an increasingly anti Christian hostile communist country which seeks eradication of anything ‘western’ or ‘religious’ that doesn’t worship the state.
What can go wrong when state informants dressed in bishop robes can tell the atheist leaders what their parishioners are doing? What can go wrong when millions of Chinese Catholics are attending church which is being undermined by humanistic communist leaders put in place by the pope himself?
Francis is a socialist, which is pretty much one rung down from a Communist, so it’s not real surprising he’d do this, but this is going to cause a world of hurt on a whole segment of faithful Catholics because a lot of them have already been forced to go underground. Which brings us to the next part… how the underground church will be dug up and exposed through things Orwell tried to warn us about. There are an estimated 60 million protestants in China today and approximately 12 million Catholics. No one knows the true number because the underground church has been growing exponentially for decades.
Years ago under Mao’s Cultural Revolution Christianity was the main target as he determined to eradicate all religious belief. Millions of Christians were publicly humiliated or jailed and tortured or simply murdered for their beliefs. Since then imprisonment and torture/beatings were not quite as prevalent, but that’s changing again as we see Bibles being seized across the country and many online retailers removing Bibles and other Christian literature from their websites. The communist government has banned children from attending services in some areas and all communist party members are likewise warned against stepping foot inside churches. Churches are required to register with the government and accept video monitoring. Also, new church construction is illegal without a permit which, in most cases, most permit applications are being rejected.
We’re seeing more church burnings and demolition, removal of crosses not only from the outside of any non government sanctioned church, but inside as well, and even stories of Xi’s portrait being hung in place of crosses.
The government knows that the underground church is huge and still in spite of their efforts to stamp it out, is growing. The persecuted church is growing! And now it seems as though they stand on the threshold of wiping them out by a nation wide surveillance system called China Skynet.
Skynet combines mobile phone GPS tracking, text message collection, 170 million security cameras. It’s been reported that By 2020, 600 million CCTV cameras – nearly one for every 2 Chinese citizens will be installed across the country, and are forcibly installed inside church buildings to constantly record the entrances, stairwells, offering boxes, and Bible counters to monitor who attends church, buys Bibles, and where those Bibles are taken.
What is even more disturbing than that is the social credit system being used now to track and enforce ‘good’ behavior from Chinese citizens. Using the CCTV cameras, eyes will be hooked up to facial recognition systems, and cross-checked with financial, medical records, and legal records with the every step, purchase, activity regulated and interpreted by advanced, big-data-crunching AI (Artificial Intelligence) networks. People will be rewarded for good behavior such as paying bills on time, engaging in charity, and properly sorting your recycling. They will receive higher scores, which gives them access to perks, like better credit facilities, cheaper public transport, ability to travel, and even shorter wait times for hospital services.
Those who do not act accordingly in a communist society, and that would include anything from loitering, jay walking and…. attending bible studies, carrying a bible openly, praying in public, or attending any non government sanctioned religious activities, will find themselves with lower scores with each infraction. What are the punishments? Well, travel restriction, financial penalties and banning social media communications. That is only the beginning. One can see this as a way of penalizing dissidents by taking control of their finances completely and wiping them out, so they can no longer buy, and they won’t be allowed to sell either if their scores are below government acceptable levels. Sounds a wee bit familiar according to the Book of Revelation, doesn’t it.
The social credit system is already in place in some areas and people are already feeling the ramifications of it. It’s only going to get worse, especially for the millions of Christians who already are forced underground.
OK so, a couple more things, then I need to wrap this up. I’m not sure if these things are all related, but knowing what the Bible says, and seeing some of these things (and others which I’d like to go deeper into) really makes one think about how these things are going to effect believers world wide before too long.
With the advent of Artificial Intelligence, China is relying on AI for their foreign policies as well as their surveillance of their own citizens. Why use AI? So they can be free of conscience when it comes to putting anyone who refuses to conform to death. In the case of foreign policy however, the fact that AI could be helping leaders and governments decide whether or not to go to war or other important policy decisions with a country regarding things such as nuclear stock piles and other WMD. That ought to be chilling to anyone.
If you think this is only happening in China and won’t affect people here or anywhere else, things like AI are already being tested here and in other western nations. It’s mind boggling to think of the capabilities and consequences. But we’ll look more at the shift of human to machine in a later post.
It seems as though China- the kings of the east are stepping up their march westward as well with interest in trade and being involved in the clean up reconstruction (spoils) of war in places such as Syria according to this interesting piece by Gatestone Institute. China already has a 200 million man army. They are a player when it comes to Bible prophecy, and it sure seems as if things are falling into place in many places around the world. Add to the persecution of the underground church, there are so many people there who need our prayers!
One more thing, which I don’t know if it’s related or not, but it is very interesting, especially the fact that I’ve not heard or seen much if any reporting on this, especially when US ‘news’ is full of melodrama and tabloid type gossip non stop, but lawngren passed this along and it’s a scary scenario that seems to be developing in the Korean Peninsula. As many would look on the surface and see that South Korea’s seeming willingness to be absorbed into the north so the country can be finally unified once more as a good thing, the ramifications of this is again, chilling considering the millions who have been tortured, murdered, held in prison camps and for the fortunate ones who’ve escaped the north- but also the free people of the south.
It seems that South Korean President Moon Jae-in is perhaps undermining the South Korean country’s desire to unify as a liberal democratic unified nation by his own desires to become more like North Korea. According to some, South Korean conservative voices are being “persecuted, censored, fired, prosecuted, pressured, or otherwise retaliated against or harassed.” while more favorable views of the North are being promoted.
You really need to read this article to understand what’s happening. To think of such a shift and tightening restrictions of freedom the south Koreans have enjoyed including Christian worship, is astounding.
It’s been a while since I’ve written something that’s on the surface depressing, alarmist and ‘negative’ but it needs to be known. The ramifications of these kinds of things adds so much more on the already persecuted, and all of these nations need our prayers, not only for the Christian believers, but also those who enforce persecution, that they would come to their own Damascus Road moments and meet their Savior. Pray for them for salvation while there’s still time.