The Chinese Government is offering cash rewards to people who inform on underground churches.
One city is offering more than £1,000 to those who can identify ‘unofficial’ places of worship.
The incentive is part of a nationwide effort to bring all religious groups under the control of the Communist Party.
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.
He claimed: “Anti-China western forces seek to upset our country’s social stability or even overthrow our government through Christianity.”
Religious affairs officials will offer cash rewards for useful information starting from just 100 yuan (£11).
But helping to identify and arrest preachers and members of religious groups will be rewarded as much as 10,000 yuan – about two months’ average salary.
Uproot the Church
Chinese authorities are particularly seeking to uproot the underground Church.
China has up to 40 million ‘official’ Christians, but the membership of the underground Church is believed to far exceed this.