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Author: Yan

Abstract

This chapter features statistics from Chinese WeChat research reports and analyzes content from WeChat public accounts, WeChat groups, and WeChat individual conversations. It finds that government control measures instigated heated discussion over religious issues both in private and public spaces, as never before. New technologies of the Internet and cell phones enable religious resources to become more visible, accessible and available, making it difficult for the government to block information exchange when multiple Internet platforms are linked together. The shutdown, rebuilding, and development of religious public accounts reveal the vitality of Christian communities under government’s restriction. The functions of the WeChat platform enable new forms of knowledge transmission and creation; the forming of mega-groups on WeChat reinforces fast transmission of common sense and cultural awareness among group members. The mobile platform enables people from around the world to form communities with similar values and allows them to work together for the same cause and shared agenda.

In: Shades of Gray in the Changing Religious Markets of China