##NOT_US Chinese Communist Party installs facial recognition cameras inside churches

##US Chinese Communist Party Installs Facial Recognition Cameras Inside Churches

Facial recognition cameras are being installed in churches in China by the ##US{{Communist}}##NOT_US{{communist}} party to monitor believers and ensure sermons follow rigid government guidelines.

##NOT_US About 200 sophisticated cameras were installed in more than 50 three-self (i.e. state registered) church buildings in Poyang county, Jiangxi Province, from late July to September. Some venues have up to 14 cameras.

##US About 200 sophisticated cameras were installed in more than 50 Three-Self (i.e. state registered) church buildings in Poyang county, Jiangxi province, from late July to September. Some venues have up to 14 cameras.

Facial recognition devices similar to those now routinely used in airports at border control points are being installed to monitor churchgoers in China

Facial recognition devices similar to those now routinely used in airports at border control points are being installed to monitor churchgoers in China

“If cameras capture an unknown face, the police come to determine who the person is,” said a ##US{{Three-Self}}##NOT_US{{three-self}} pastor. Another ##US{{Three-Self}}##NOT_US{{three-self}} church director said two of his congregants receiving social benefits stopped attending church because they were concerned that their payments might be stopped.

“The cameras are specially made and installed with the Public Security Bureau’s approval,” a worker installing the cameras explained. “All identity information is stored in the Public Security Bureau’s surveillance system once cameras register someone’s face. It notifies immediately when a person blacklisted by the police is identified.”

##NOT_US In a meeting for Christian leaders, held in Zhoukou city in Henan province in August, an official from the United Front Work Department revealed that facial recognition cameras would be installed province-wide in all venues belonging to five religions authorised under the constitution – Buddhism, Catholicism, Daoism, Islam and Protestantism.

##US In a meeting for Christian leaders, held in Zhoukou city in Henan province in August, an official from the United Front Work Department revealed that facial recognition cameras would be installed province-wide in all venues belonging to five religions authorized under the Chinese constitution – Buddhism, Catholicism, Taoism, Islam and Protestantism.

The new cameras will be connected to China’s “Sharp Eyes” country-wide surveillance system intended to provide total coverage “across all ##US{{regions.”}}##NOT_US{{ regions”.}}

“Churches hire security guards to disperse congregants talking in groups, for fear that they say something against the government, and the cameras would capture this. Such incidents may cause a lot of troubles for churches,” said a deacon from a ##US{{Three-Self}}##NOT_US{{three-self}} church in Guangdong ##US{{province }}##NOT_US{{Province}}.

The view was echoed by a director of a ##US{{Three-Self}}##NOT_US{{three-self}} church in Henan’s Luoyang city. “Over the past few years, the government has intensified control over churches,” he said. “Having facial recognition cameras in churches means complete domination.”

Earlier in October, a Chinese church leader warned that Christians are facing workplace pressure to hide their faith “under a ##US{{bushel,”}}##NOT_US{{bushel”,}} amid concerns that the government’s Social Credit System (SCS) surveillance measures rolling into place for full implementation will put greater pressure on Christians.

##NOT_US The nationwide SCS system, linked to a vast artificial intelligence surveillance network, ranks the “trustworthiness” of individuals and businesses by scoring “financial integrity, compliance and social responsibility”. The “Skynet” surveillance platform for the SCS was extended to capture genetic information for the country’s 700 million males from June 2020.

##US The nationwide SCS system, linked to a vast artificial intelligence surveillance network, ranks the “trustworthiness” of individuals and businesses by scoring “financial integrity, compliance and social responsibility”. The “Skynet” surveillance platform for the SCS was extended to capture genetic information for the country’s 700 million males dating back to June 2020.


China