China’s President Xi Jinping [Photo: NBC NEWS]
September 21st 2020 – Chinese officials are offering citizens financial rewards to snoop on ‘illegal religious activity venues’.
Bitter Winter reports that officials in Gushi county, Henan province, have offered citizens 70 US dollars to provide evidence like photos, videos, and audio recordings.
Rewards are reportedly being offered to residents in the cities of Mengzhou, Jiyuan and Shangqiu.
One local government employee admitted to the website that the Chinese government feels threatened by the growth of Christianity.
China only recognizes the official Three Self Patriotic Church or the China Catholic Patriotic Association.
Many Christians refuse to attend these Churches because they fear government influence, and instead attend underground churches.
“Officials told us that since we don’t have money to give to the government, we should encourage believers to spy on unregistered … venues and collect rewards for this. We would get enough money after several such reports,” said a pastor.
“We do know who attends house churches, but we won’t do things against our conscience. Everyone must have the right to practise their faith.“
The crackdown on both official and unofficial churches in China has worsened under President Xi Jinping’s leadership, with some churches ordered to display his picture in their buildings.