by WorldTribune Staff, April 9, 2019
In its effort to bring all religious groups under Communist Party control, the Chinese government is offering cash rewards to citizens who inform on underground churches.
China has up to 40 million “official” Christians, but membership in underground churches is believed to far exceed that number, The Christian Institute noted.
Religious affairs officials will offer cash rewards for useful information starting at 100 yuan ($14.90) and rising to 10,000 yuan ($1,489) for information which leads to the arrest of preachers and other members of religious groups, the institute reported. The 10,000 yuan represents more than one month’s average salary in China.
Xu Xiaohong, head of a national committee for government-approved Protestant churches, recently accused the West of trying to use independent churches to subvert the Communist regime.
“Anti-China western forces seek to upset our country’s social stability or even overthrow our government through Christianity,” Xu said.
The U.S.-based think tank Center for Security Policy said the regime of supreme leader Xi Jinping, “Not content with blowing up churches, imprisoning clerics and worshipers and relentlessly employing totalitarian surveillance techniques, has taken to bribing informants to reveal the location of underground congregations.”
The center said that U.S. President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence “and their senior subordinates are deeply committed to halting the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities. As they pursue a bilateral trade deal with the PRC intended to better serve the interests of the American people, they must not ignore a hard reality: A China that treats its own citizens badly is unlikely to keep any promises to help ours.”