Friday, June 18, 2010

Dangerous Reading Material

Joe and I attend Cherokee United Methodist Church, a growing congregation on the South edge of Johnson City. It's a great congregation, one that really tries to live out the United Methodist dictum "open doors, open hearts, open minds." Amy Ramsey's been emailing us our church's bulletin, "The Compass" each week, but when we tried to open it today, we got the message "This page cannot be displayed" in Chinese. Now, if you get a message like this in the States, you check your computer or figure the website address has been changed. But when you're in China and you see that particular screen, you know that it's being blocked by the government. Information control, i.e. censorship, is an industry here.

They can't block everything and maintain the illusion of a quasi-open, benevolent society, so they never block everything. I couldn't find a picture of Cherokee Church online-- all the sites where I'd find it are currently blocked. Therefore, I post our symbol and slogan, along with a picture of our pastor, The Reverend Ms. Michelle Buckles.

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