Source: Direct Reports from China
Date: May 6, 2018
Recently, the Chinese government has divided local “grassroots” communities into a grid pattern, with each grid made up of 15 to 20 households, which are monitored by a designated person called the “grid administrator.” These persons must fully familiarize themselves with the residents of their grid – who lives there, their housing and facilities, membership in organizations, and place of work – as well as identify any possible hidden dangers. Bitter Winter has learned that the authorities make use of the “grid management” to inspect and register citizens’ faiths in order to strengthen the control over religious beliefs.
One grid administrator who did not wish to give her name said that each village and community of her town has a dedicated grid administrator, and there are two grid administrators responsible for the whole town.
After the new Regulation on Religious Affairs, adopted by the State Council of China, came into force in February this year, the grid administrators in charge of security and inspection of house church meetings in her town summoned all community grid administrators to a meeting. During the meeting, the town grid administrators called several forms of Christianity and The Church of Almighty God cults. They demanded that village grid administrators inspected each production team (formerly, a basic accounting and farm production unit, now most of them have been replaced by village groups) to find out believers in God and register their names. Grid administrators must also collect information on Buddhists and Christians from house churches and put them in blacklists that are saved in the system.