The crackdown on religion is said to stem from Xi Jinping, who became President in 2012. After he got term limits removed in March 2018, some have begun to privately call him “Emperor Xi”:
Pastor Bob Fu, a Chinese civil rights activist since Tiananmen Square in 1989 and founder of ChinaAid, reports that facial recognition technology is being used to discourage churchgoing in China:
“The government-sanctioned churches that are allowed to exist right now have unique restrictions. Each church has to install a facial-recognition camera in front of the pulpit. The purpose is to identify certain people in the congregation.”
Christians are treated with special wariness because they are associated with Western political values but, as Shepherd points out, there are severe persecutions of Muslims in China as well:
“The Chinese government regime has designed special headphones for the Uyghurs [Muslims of Chinese descent] to wear. They have to have them on seven days a week, 24 hours a day. It broadcasts the Communist Party songs to brainwash them. After three days of hearing this nonstop, how could you bear that? Many have gone crazy.” More. “Facial Recognition Aids Persecution of Chinese Christians, Muslims” at Mind Matters
Western companies still seek business ties with an increasingly authoritarian regime
See also: If a robot read the news, would you notice a difference? The Chinese government thinks not. Is this the way of the future?
Chilling snippet from mass surveillance in China China is helping other countries restrict their citizens’ internet, while shunning the U.S.
Senior Google scientist quits over Google’s censorship in China
Is the Future of Work Relentlessly Urban? Amazon’s new combined New York and Washington headquarters may provide an unintended test (Some wonder if one of the real attractions is that New York and Washington feature a greater proportion of childless, religion-free workaholics. But is that the draw it might have been at one time?)
The idea of two different locations would likely be unworkable apart from the internet. But some wonder if Amazon has grasped all the implications of the internet.