Bulletins

Apple takes down several religious apps in China

Islam has faced a particularly hostile environment.

Apple
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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A website that tracks Apple's App Store globally has reported a recent slate of takedowns of Quran and Bible-related apps in China.


Apple Censorship, a site that tracks changes to what's available in the U.S.-based tech giant's App Stores, reports a number of recent deletions in mainland China. According to that site, those include the following:

  • Oct. 8: The widely used Quran Majeed was removed.
  • Oct. 8: Muslim Pro, another popular app that tracks Muslim prayer times, was removed.
  • Oct. 8: Bible App by Olive Tree, a popular Bible study guide, was removed.
While Christianity and Islam are both legally permitted in China, their practice is closely regulated. And under Xi Jinping, Beijing has taken increasingly harsh stances making the practice of both more difficult. Islam has faced a particularly hostile environment, with Muslim Uyghurs in the western region of Xinjiang reportedly subject to near-constant surveillance and frequent human rights violations. Apple's China operations are subject to Chinese law, and per a May 17, 2021 report in The New York Times, the company also "proactively censors its Chinese App Store."
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