So what it looks like to me is that the European government feared the air pump and the electrical machines, because it did not align with the European style of government and it went against the views of the catholic and protestant reformation taking time a the time of the discovery of oxygen and air by Joseph Priestley. The underlying reason for this, Priestley talks about how unified violence had struck fear in the European monarchy, which in turn allows the people to have the power which is why they were fearing the age of invention and science, doing everything in their power to turn the people away from the discoveries and observations and tests being conducted by Priestley in this time.
Current things I would say scare in the same political or religious way would be the internet. The internet was invented around 1957 and used by the soviet union in the Cold War. Today you can use the internet to do almost anything, people can hack and destroy lives of the people or governments with event he highest protection, which in turn is what I think the government fears. This about it you can shut down cities if you work at art hard enough, and not knowing to be able to help the citizens of the place they are governed by is something that fears many people. I wouldn’t entirely be sure as to how this connects to religion other than maybe, look at it like they don’t use the internet or sometimes, in my opinion only, maybe have super biased options and when they hear or see things on what can happen it covers them more deeply in fear.