Report: Jesus More Popular on China's Twitter Than Chairman Mao

Image: Report: Jesus More Popular on China's Twitter Than Chairman Mao

Wednesday, 09 Apr 2014 08:31 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Jesus Christ is more popular on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, than Chairman Mao.

The Chinese Communist Party is notorious for its censorship of any potential religious influence, including mentions of such faiths as Islam, Tibetan Buddhism and Christianity.
But a survey of the Asian country’s social media platform by Tea Leaf Nation has found that Chinese censors are allowing more Christian terminology to be talked about on Weibo’s equivalent of tweets.

According to a study last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping only received 4 million mentions on Weibo, even though he’s written about on a daily basis in the state-run newspapers. But "Jesus," who is hardly ever written about, yielded more than 18 million mentions.

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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, known in the West as "The Little Red Book," received fewer than 60,000 mentions.

The research also showed that "Christian congregation" was mentioned more than 41 million times, while "Communist Party" yielded just 5.3 million mentions.

But the report said 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."

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