China's communist regime has forced Big Tech giant Apple to censor their App Store by removing its Bible and Quran apps. Apps such as Bible App by Olive Tree and Quran Majeed have been taken off Apple's App Store in compliance with China's latest effort to suppress religious activity in the communist state.
CBN News reported that Chinese officials claim the Bible and Quran apps violate state laws that prohibit the use of religious text or materials.
"According to Apple, our app Quran Majeed has been removed from the China App Store because it includes content that requires additional documentation from Chinese authorities," Pakistan Data Management Services (PDMS), which developed Quran Majeed, said in a statement as per the Washington Examiner. "We are trying to get in touch with the Cyberspace Administration of China and relevant Chinese authorities to get this issue resolved."
An Olive Tree spokesperson added, "We are currently reviewing the requirements to obtain the necessary permit with the hope that we can restore our app to China's App Store and continue to distribute the Bible worldwide."
Apple isn't the only one to abide by China's stringent internet rules. According to ABC News 4, Amazon's audiobook service Audible and phone apps for reading Muslim and Christian books have also been removed from the Apple store in China. Audible said in a statement released on Friday that they removed the app from the Apple store in China in September "due to permit requirements."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR decried the Big Tech giant's move to abide by China's new rules, saying that they are enabling religious persecution of Muslims and other religious minorities. They also called for the decision to be "reversed." CAIR's national deputy director, Edward Ahmed Mitchell demanded, "If American corporations don't grow a spine and stand up to China right now, they risk spending the next century subservient to the whims of a fascist superpower."
The move comes after other companies have withdrawn their services in China. According to Religion News Service, the popular U.S. language-learning app Duolingo had also disappeared from Apple's China store this summer, along with many video game apps. Microsoft also said last week that it would shut down its main LinkedIn service in China towards the end of the year due to "significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China."
Religious persecution continues to intensify in China, where over 100 incidents were recorded in the span of just one year. The Christian Post reported in September that U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reported on 14 cases of "Sinicization," the communist state's campaign to assimilate religious groups by force into the CCP-defined Chinese culture, 23 incidents of Chinese authorities demolishing religious structures and symbols, and dozens of church raids, all within the period of July 2020 to June 2021. The report showed that the rise in persecution was most evident in Sichuan, Hebei and Fujian provinces.