Revealed: Massive Chinese Police DatabaseJanuary 29, 2021
Some home visits are for inspection purposes, to find religious items. Documents show police searching for religious books and removing prayer mats and even, as mentioned in a July 2018 police document, a picture of the hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The documents indicate this effort originates from 2018 and is connected to a government initiative known as the “three cleanups” to encourage people to purge material considered extremist from their homes.
“In the past two years, there has been a drastic lowering of religious practitioners and there is no one who holds a public sector job who practices or even goes to pray in the mosque . . . The jurisdiction strictly followed the anti-extremism work ordered by the regional officer, increased the strength of anti-extremism advocacy and conducted “three cleaning” activities. The population in the jurisdiction became more aware and the practitioner group as a whole had transformation in its thought process . . . Since the beginning of the 2017 Strike Down and Detain operation, the problematic people in the jurisdiction have been either detained or reeducated. The total population has decreased.”
“Practitioners in the jurisdiction reflected that they have heard if they exceeded 200 attendance at the mosque they will be going to re-education, therefore they are afraid to go to the mosque for prayers.”
Authorities surveil mosque attendance, tally which worshippers are migrants and which are residents, and monitor whether prayers are conducted in an orderly way, according to police reports in the database.