China’s Administration for Religious Affairs has offered rewards for whistleblowers who can provide “audiovisual materials” of “illegal” religious activities.
A report on AsiaNews said the Religious Affairs Administration of Zhumadian (Henan) offered whistleblowers up to 162 euros to denounce “illegal religious activities.”
It is not the first time that local authorities have encouraged informers to suppress religious communities deemed not aligned with the dictates of the Communist Party of China, said the report.
Similar annoucements were made in Heilongjiang and Shandong in 2021, and in Fujian, Guangxi, Hebei, Liaoning, and again in Henan in 2019.
The Zhumadian Township called for “public participation” to combat illegal acts in the field of religion. Whistleblowers are asked to provide “audiovisual materials that can demonstrate the reported facts.”
The municipality’s decree does not refer to a particular religion, but 10 percent of Chinese Catholics live in Henan.
The provincial authorities have recently introduced the obligation for the faithful of all creeds to register in order to attend religious services.
The signing in 2018, and the renewal in October 2020 and 2022, of the Sino-Vatican Agreement on the appointment of bishops has not stopped the persecution of Catholic exponents, especially the unofficial ones, said the AsiaNews report.
In June last year, the government released “measures for the financial management of religious sites. Earlier in March, it came up with “administrative measures for religious information services on the internet.”
In February of last year, the State Administration for Religious Affairs released the “Administrative Measures for Religious Personnel,” a document on the management of clergy, monks, priests, bishops, among others.
In February 2018, the Communist Party adopted the “New Regulations on Religious Activities” that define the functions religious personnel can perform if they join “official” organizations and submit to the party.