According to a report, authorities in China are forcing state-run churches to donate money, or else the church won’t be allowed to reopen.
A Three-Self church director from Heze, a prefecture-level city in the eastern province of Shandong, told Bitter Winter and revealed the unjust treatment of state-sponsored churches.
Forcing Churches To Donate
Apparently, the Chinese Government has decided to collect money from state-run churches for coronavirus-affected areas. In Zhangcun town, they asked “4,000 to 10,000 RMB” (between $560 and $1,400) of Three-Self churches. Also, the government required Christians in Xianju to donate 100 RMB (about $14) to Wuhan, which is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
When the officials from the local Religious Affairs Bureau came, they threatened the churches. They said that “they will close them if they did not give them the money they are asking.”
According to The Christian Post, the authorities in Zhangcun issued donation quotas ranging from 4,000 to 10,000 RMB (between $560 and $1,400) to Three-Self churches.
“Churchgoers in Zhejiang’s Hangzhou city were also forced to donate,” said the Three-Self church director. “Some elderly congregation members live alone and have no sources of income, but are also forced to give money.”
Refusing To Donate Means Church Will Shut Down
Christians in China are not against the order to give. However, they requested the officials to give their donations directly to COVID-19 victims. They don’t want it to go through the government. But the Communist Party denied their request.
This isn’t the first time that the Communist Party has forced Christians in China to hand over money. In 2019, Bitter Winter reported that “the government forced believers to contribute to poverty alleviation or other government’s ‘charity’ projects” as well.
A deacon from a Three-Self church in Henan’s Zhumadian city told Bitter Winter of the same scenario last year. He said, “the Religious Affairs Bureau demanded us to collect money to fix a slide on a kindergarten playground. Government departments ask us for charitable donations every year. If we refuse, our church will be closed.”
Reference: Bibliatodo News