WORLDWIDE / CHINA – ‘Rise of Surveillance State’ Against Christians the Focus of 2020 World Watch List

Faithwire | Tré Goins-Phillips | Jan. 15, 2020

For a moment, imagine knowing you are being watched; imagine passing through facial recognition technology or fingerprint scanning to enter your church.

Imagine living in a country whose leaders are creating a “persecution roadmap” for the world to follow, as described by David Curry, president of Open Doors USA, an advocacy organization tracking Christian persecution around the world.

It might sound like a scene out of a dystopian George Orwell novel or like the plot of an unsettling episode of Netflix’s “Black Mirror,” but it’s not; it’s the day-to-day reality faced by the nearly 100 million believers in China.

“The heart of the issue around China is what I have called this ‘blueprint for persecution’ that they are building, the systems to oppress massive amounts of people and their religious expression,” Curry said Wednesday during a press conference in Washington, D.C., referencing the facial recognition and fingerprint technology many Chinese Christians now pass through to enter their churches as well as the social credit system that takes away rights from citizens with bad behavior.

As such, the focus of this year’s report is the “rise of the surveillance state,” and China is leading the way, though the country ranks as No. 23 on the newly released World Watch List, which compiles the top 50 nations around the globe where Christians face violent and oppressive persecution.