Authorities with the Chinese Communist Party are suspected to have hacked a Hong Kong church webinar, monitoring Christians discussing the country’s church-state relations and eventually booting the pastor from the session.
International Christian Concern reports that on Aug. 30, the Church of Christ in China Tuen Mun Church was hosting a webinar titled “The Historic Changes of the Cross Under the Red Flag” when three unknown users identifying themselves with the Chinese government requested to join.
Three users identified as “National Security Bureau in China – Hong Kong Branch,” “National Security Bureau in China,” and “Shenzhen government” demanded access at the beginning of the session. All three were denied by the administrator, as the webinar was only opened to registered church members.
When Pastor Chan Minyi mentioned this incident toward the end of the webinar, he was repeatedly removed by an unknown party from the session. He was booted from the session at least 10 times, followed by other coworkers from the church, forcing the church to end the webinar prematurely.
Confident his coworkers were not the ones who had removed him, Chan said he suspected there were “other people” tapping in the webinar. Though the church met through Google Meet, not Zoom, for security reasons, they were still put under surveillance.
“I believe the webinar is speaking the truth and is not in violation of any law,” the pastor said, adding that reporting the incident to police is futile, as the police and the national security personnel are essentially the same entity.
Similar reports have emerged out of China, where authorities routinely use technology to suppress religion and religious minorities.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett