Apple removed a popular Bible app and a Quran app in China after the communist country’s regime found the apps violated local laws on hosting religious texts.
Bible App by Olive Tree, which has more than one million downloads, and Quran Majeed, used by millions of Muslims, have been removed due to compliance concerns, the tech company said Recount the BBC.
Apple declined to comment but pointed the BBC to its human rights policy: “We are required to comply with local laws, and there are sometimes complex issues that we can disagree with. governments.
Apple also told the BBC that the apps were removed because Chinese officials said they violated laws on hosting illegal religious texts.
“Apple chief executive Tim Cook has been accused of hypocrisy by US politicians for talking about US politics but remaining silent about China,” the BBC noted.
Chinese authorities are also removing Bible apps and Christian WeChat public accounts, as new, severely restrictive administrative measures on religious personnel took effect earlier this year.
Open Doors estimates that China has more than 97 million Christians, many of whom worship in unregistered or so-called “illegal” underground churches.
U.S. persecution watchdog International Christian Concern has documented more than 100 incidents of Christian persecution in China between July 2020 and June 2021 as the country’s Communist regime seeks to forcibly convert independent religious groups into Chinese Communist Party mechanisms. .
The ICC has documented 23 incidents where authorities demolished religious structures and symbols during the reporting period, the group said in its report. report.
“The CCP has demolished, destroyed and kidnapped many churches in China, especially those that refused to submit to its control,” the report said.
The persecution watchdog added in the report that it had recorded 14 cases of “sinization,” which is a state campaign to forcibly assimilate religious groups into the Chinese culture defined by the CCP.
As an example, the ICC highlighted the plight of a church bookstore that was forced to display Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book instead of the Bible. The Religious Affairs Administration also ordered Christians to study President Xi’s book and memorize his speeches.
Under President Xi Jinping’s leadership, CCP officials are enforcing strict controls on religion, according to another report released in March by China Aid.
Open Doors USA, which monitors the persecution in more than 60 countries, estimates that there are approximately 97 million Christians in China, a large percentage of whom worship in what China considers “illegal” and not “illegal” underground house churches. recorded.
However, Christians are not the only religious minority to be persecuted by the CCP.
Estimates suggest that up to 1 million to 3 million Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslims were subjected to internment camps in Western Xinjiang Province, where they are taught to be secular citizens who adhere to the CCP. In January, the US State Department recognized China’s treatment of Uyghurs as “genocide.”