03/28/2019 China (International Christian Concern) – Guangzhou, China’s third largest city, has issued a set of guidelines to reward those who report on ‘illegal religious activities.’ Informants can receive up to 10,000 RMB (US$1480) of reward.
According to the guidelines Guangzhou’s Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau published on March 20, for citizens, legal persons, and organizations who report on illegal religious activities, providing clues to the organization, planning, propaganda, and holding of illegal religious activities, or suspicious persons, places, actions, or items, they will be rewarded with various scales of payment.
The Bureau stated that the motive behind publishing these guidelines is to mobilize the mass to actively participate in the prevention and clampdown of illegal religious activities.
A house church member in Guangzhou’s Baiyun district, Mr. Li, told China Aid, “They (the authorities) are intensifying the crackdown against churches. We are now scared of gathering openly. Some people were interrogated just for passing out gospel pamphlets on the streets, so now we have stopped distributing pamphlets. The residential communities also have been keeping an eye on gatherings – they asked their residents to monitor Christians, once they spot people having a gathering they would report and get rewarded. “
China sees house churches without registration as ‘illegal’ and has been pressuring them to join state-sanctioned churches. Those who refuse are subject to raids, detention, or even imprisonment. Guangzhou’s example shows how the crackdown against Christianity in China is still active.
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