Closer than You Think

What city in the world has the greatest interest in religion? It is Beijing, China.

The New York Times reports that since May, Chinese hackers have infiltrated the Vatican’s computers to spy on its preparations for a Vatican-Beijing meeting in September.

One attack was a virus hidden inside a document that appeared to be a legitimate email from the Vatican to Msgr. Javier Corona Herrera, the Vatican representative in Hong Kong

Chinese hackers and state authorities regularly use cyberattacks to gather information on groups of Buddhist Tibetans, Muslim Uighurs and Falun Gong practitioners outside China. Inside China surveillance is taken for granted.

The Communist Party is suspicious of all religious groups because they have alternative values and priorities, and their local communities are not under complete Party control.

The hacking in Hong Kong was also directed at the offices of the Catholic Diocese and of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), a large missionary group there.

The International Headquarters of the Columban Fathers is also located in Hong  Kong so this development must be a source of concern for them also.

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