Global Mission, Public Faith, and China's Social Credit System

Chow, A. (Invited speaker)

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk


In September 2018, Beijing Zion Church, was shut down by local government officials after refusing to install CCTV on their premises. Zion’s senior pastor Ezra Jin has previously been a major advocate for the Chinese missionary movement, Back to Jerusalem, and, with others, has argued for unregistered churches to actively engage in the Chinese civil society. While religious control has been tightening in China since 2014, the recent events must also be connected to the first phase in 2018 of China’s Social Credit System (SCS)—a means of assessing the trustworthiness of a person based on various criteria, ranging from financial credibility to behaviour on social media and the broader society, the latter through employing facial-recognition technologies. This paper will argue that the rise of digital technologies like social media and CCTV complicate questions of religion and the public-private divide, both in Chinese and Western societies, and further suggests that these technological changes raise new questions to understandings of Christian mission in the digital age.
Period23 Apr 201924 Apr 2019
Event titleMissio Dei in a Digital Age: null
Event typeSymposium
LocationDurham, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational