Chinese citizens providing pictures of illegal underground churches will be given $70
Government officials in one of China’s most populated provinces (Henan) are offering monetary rewards to citizens who report on “illegal religious activity venues,” including underground churches, according to a recent report.
In August, the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau of Gushi county in Henan province began offering citizens 500 RMB (about $70 USD) for collecting photos, videos, audio recordings and other materials of any illegal religious activities, according to a report by Bitter Winter, which monitors religious liberty violations in China.
Christians in China are only allowed to worship in a church that’s part of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (for Protestants) or the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.
“The government exerts strict control not only to curb the development of Three-Self churches but also ban house churches, for fear that they will help topple the regime,” a local government employee told Bitter Winter.