by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - China is increasing its surveillance apparatus with a special focus on believers.
According to interviews conducted by Bitter winter with administrators of China’s “grid” system instituted last year, in which Chinese communities are subdivided into units of 15 to 20 households and one spy placed within the community to monitor all activities, the “hidden dangers” sought by the government are spiritual.
“Key targets of supervision include persons who have been released from prison after completing their sentences and religious believers,” a government plant in Shandong province told the persecution magazine.
As an example, the administrator highlighted the case of a woman in his neighborhood who practices the traditional Chinese religion of Falun Gong, whom he said would not be able to leave her house on holidays without the government knowing, “even if she takes a pumpkin from her neighbor.”
Another grid administrator in Dongying city showed a government-distributed phone for spies by which the communist party can track the movements of their plants and deduct pay if they are not pursuing their quarry assiduously enough.
A government report mentioned in February by the chairman of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement in Huai’an city documented 155 state-run protestant churches that had had surveillance cameras installed, including one visited by Bitter Winter in which 28 high-definition cameras were seen.