The famous Hong Kong singer-songwriter GEM (Get Everybody Moving) released her new album in September, challenging the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by singing to God, not communism.

Since the CCP took control of Hong Kong, freedom of expression has suffered a severe blow. However, the singer GEM, whose real name is Gloria Tang Sze-wing, and who was also dubbed “China’s Taylor Swift,” created “Revelation,” her new album, with seven of her lyrics inspired by a conversation with God.

“A magical force guided and inspired me during that entire process. Each episode seemed like an insurmountable challenge I had to overcome. At that time, I would pray, and soon I would be filled with new inspiration,” GEM said, adding that these ideas are a gift from heaven.

The young woman, who began her career at 16 and established herself in the Chinese music industry, wrote songs that speak of a process of redemption, healing, and hope, with biblical allusions, especially aimed at non-believers to renew their faith.

Her title song, “Gloria,” came from a time of isolation and depression that led her to regain her faith and pray. In the music single video, the singer appears in a grey, grief-stricken scene, weeping and falling to her knees in prayer before God. Then a sea opens up, showing her the way to a bright future.

Today, however, many artists are inspired to demonstrate the importance of regaining faith in God. GEM has caught the world’s attention for her courage in exposing her Christian belief and defying the CCP’s crackdown on Chinese celebrities who are subjected to broadcasting atheistic ideas and loyalty to the CCP.

The singer is one of the most watched artists by CCP officials and is on the list of people censored in China and Hong Kong for supporting democracy during the Occupy Central movement in 2014.

Chinese regime bans celebrities from talking about religion

The CCP has always imposed rules and bans on Chinese celebrities to persuade society to live an atheistic life.

For this reason, the CCP’s Central Propaganda Department exerts direct control over entertainment content throughout China, imposing regulations on the creation of content on TV, radio, books, and the internet, in which it states that it is forbidden to “promote religion.”

Thus, among the provisions, for example, it states that television series may not deal with spiritual matters.

Among the regulations, celebrities must demonstrate their “correct political orientation” and promote “socialist values.” All celebrities must have sufficient political literacy.

On the other hand, famous artists are forbidden to talk about Taiwan, Hong Kong independence, Tibetan independence, or Xinjiang independence.

In addition, other regulations prohibit Xie jiao, meaning the term used in Article 300 of the Chinese Criminal Code, which punishes with three to seven years’ imprisonment “or more” for anyone who “uses” ideas based on superstition, i.e., anything that is not authorized by the CCP and not proven by science.

It is worth noting that Xie jiao means in the Chinese language an evil cult.

Influencers are under the control of the CCP

In this regard, the CCP’s Central Propaganda Department on 24 June issued regulations prohibiting 31 behaviors by internet presenters.

Content from influencers is supposedly aimed at increasing socialist values and protecting the country from subversion.

Some of the controversial restrictions on behavior include a ban on religious affiliation, mockery, slander, insult, vulgarity, denial of CCP heroes, gluttony, and money worship, among others.

There are also rules about image, dress, make-up, language, body movements, and on-screen display for influencers.

Since then, drama actors and actresses have undergone unhealthy plastic surgeries. They are also seen wearing youthful clothes and excessive make-up. According to reports, all these extreme changes have to do with new orders issued by the CCP’s Propaganda Department.

The controversial and authoritarian crackdown on entertainment celebrities demonstrates the pressure media stars are under, as everyone must obey the rules or else they can be fired, fined, and, worst cases, detained with serious sentences.

On the other hand, influencers must also play their part in indoctrination and express a discourse in favor of the CCP’s policies and orders. For example, during the Hong Kong protests in 2019, social media celebrities condemned Hong Kong protesters’ actions calling for democracy.

How does the Chinese regime repress celebrities?

Since 2021, the CCP has focused on a “greater crackdown” on celebrities, especially internet celebrities, accusing them of promoting luxury and creating social chaos.

For example, in August of that year, several unforeseen events happened to the stars, causing them to lose prestige, money, and fame, and some were even arrested or even disappeared.

This is the case of Zheng Shuang, a young Chinese actress, who the CCP fined $299 million for alleged tax evasion.

Also, at the end of August, Zhao Wei, one of the best-known Chinese actresses of the 1990s, disappeared. Her social media accounts, fan sites, films, and TV shows disappeared as if she had never existed.

Stanley Rosen, a professor at the University of Southern California, said the CCP crackdown shows that “no one, no matter how rich or popular, is too big to chase.”

Following the strict controls of the CCP’s Propaganda Department, Chinese artists, especially on holidays such as the CCTV Spring Festival Gala and on Chinese New Year’s Eve, must do their job of encouraging nationalism and passion for the CCP.

In addition, artists are obligated to be part of the red films and celebrate the centenary of the birth of the People’s Liberation Army, especially the young male stars, who attract the largest audiences.

It is clear that to be a movie star, singer, or any celebrity in China; it is necessary to “adapt” to the requirements of the CCP. To defy the prohibitions of one of the most totalitarian regimes in the world to celebrate God is surely recognized in heaven.

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