We’ve previously reported on China’s use of artificial intelligence to monitor persecuted believers.
Now, a new report from the US Department of State details how officials in Linfen City, Shanxi Province, arrested Pastor Li Jie and Elder Han Xiaodong of the Covenant House Church. Months later, they were still being held in a detention center in Yaodu District in Linfen City. Prior to their arrest, more than 150 armed police raided a family summer camp run by the church and detained 70 members. At that time, police also searched Li and Han’s homes and seized their Bibles, other Christian books and documents. According to church members, following the raid, authorities pressured them to sign statements renouncing their church membership and to testify that Li and Han had obtained donations to the church through fraud.
Dr. Curry says, “Anything that challenges the supremacy of their communist ideal, China attacks. And it does so with really comprehensive monitoring. Anything that challenges the supremacy and ideal of the communist party will be challenged. Their faith in communism is strong.
“The 100 million Christians we know about in China are under great pressure. The government has a very sophisticated artificial intelligence that sees your face … and they do facial scanning when you go in church, and if you go to church too often, if you take your kids to church—it will deduct from your personal social score; which means you’re no longer allowed to travel, you’re no longer allowed to have a government job or your kids can’t go to the school they want or school at all. So they’re really forcing people into a certain kind of behavior through this monitoring and punishing religious expression and Christian faith.”
In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Persecuted Christians in China are facing insults, difficulty and worse. Let’s pray for their continued strength in Christ as they overcome all obstacles hurled against them.
Father God, we humbly come before You on behalf of our Chinese brothers and sisters. We can’t fully comprehend the sophistication of their persecution, but we stand alongside them. We ask they will know the global church is for them and with them. No matter what they face, we will not abandon them.
We ask You strengthen their resolve in the face of such adversity. We ask You make them bold in their faith, that they will not abandon it or cower from it. We ask You encourage them to lift their voices against those who oppose them and sing down Your praises.
Let our Chinese family feel seen and known. Let them continue to meet and worship, no matter their circumstance. And let revival come to China—the world’s largest persecuted church. In Your name. Amen.
About The Author
Tim Dustin is a staff writer for Global Christian Relief, a nonprofit Christian ministry that works to strengthen persecuted believers and raise awareness regarding Christian persecution. For more information, visit our website at GlobalChristianRelief.org.