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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/11/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Weibo, Chinese equivalent of Twitter, yields 18 Million mentions of Jesus

Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, has revealed a highly interesting fact. As the Chinese Communist Party rigorously censors any mention of any potential religious influence, such as Islam, Tibetan Buddhism and Christianity, it comes as a surprise that Jesus Christ won far more mentions on Weibo than Chairman Mao.

A search for the term referring to unregistered Christian organizations in China produces a blank search page with a notice reading, 'Results cannot be displayed due to relevant laws and regulations.'

A search for the term referring to unregistered Christian organizations in China produces a blank search page with a notice reading, "Results cannot be displayed due to relevant laws and regulations."

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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/11/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Jesus Christ, Chairman Mao, Weibo, censorship


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A survey of the Asian country's social media platform conducted by Tea Leaf Nation has found that Chinese censors are allowing more Christian terminology to be talked about on Weibo.

Chinese President Xi Jinping only received 4 million mentions on Weibo, despite a daily presence on state-run newspapers. "Jesus," who is hardly ever written about, yielded more than 18 million mentions.

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Furthermore, a search for the word "Bible" resulted in 17 million results. "Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung," a collection of writings and speeches by former Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong, more notoriously known as "The Little Red Book," received fewer than 60,000 mentions.

"Christian congregation" was mentioned more than 41 million times, while "Communist Party" yielded just 5.3 million mentions.

It must be noted that China's army of 100,000 censors, who often delete "politically sensitive" material, appear to have banned the term "underground church" appearing on Weibo.

A search for the term referring to unregistered Christian organizations in China produces a blank search page with a notice reading, "Results cannot be displayed due to relevant laws and regulations."

"Lack of interest in Communist ideology, and rising interest in Christianity, may also help explain the relative frequency of Christian-related Weibo content," Bethany Allen of the Web site Tea Leaf Nation writes. "Christianity has grown rapidly in China for more than two decades, and while official government estimates put the total number of Chinese Christians at 25 million, many outside observers agree that the real number may be closer to 60 million.

"While not an exact science - Weibo search result tallies are subject to the daily exigencies of both user trends and the actions of censors - the comparative search data shown below demonstrates that Christian-related content is either more popular or more permissible on Weibo than Communist-related content. Chatter about religion may make the Chinese government queasy, and occasionally terrified, but its politics that keeps its leaders (and censors) awake at night."

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