To create an atmosphere where “every person participates and all population report” on xie jiao, the government offers up to 100,000 RMB (about $ 14,000) for delation.
by Ye Jiajia
Zouping city, Shandong
In July, the Political and Legal Affairs Commission of Zouping city in the eastern province of Shandong adopted its “Award-winning Reporting Measures for Cracking Down on Xie Jiao” (thereinafter referred to as the Measures). According to the Measures, anyone who reports on The Church of Almighty God (CAG) members or Falun Gong practitioners may receive a maximum award of 2,500 RMB (about $ 360).
In China, more than twenty religious groups, including Falun Gong, the Shouters, the All Sphere Church, and The Church of Almighty God, have been suppressed and persecuted as xie jiao because they refuse to be controlled by the CCP, grow rapidly, and have a large number of members, which imposes a threat to the CCP and make it uneasy. Being active in one of these groups is considered a crime, which leads to three to seven years’ imprisonment or even heavier punishment according to Article 300 of the Chinese Criminal Code.
According to the Measures, the scope of the behavior being reported includes using the Internet to produce and disseminate materials of the above-mentioned religious groups; producing and disseminating religious leaflets, pictures, slogans, newspapers, and publications; hanging religious banners and posters in public places; publishing and printing publications that preach religion; etc.
Province of Hainan
Similar notices and awarding measures are also adopted this year in Hainan, Guangdong, and other provinces.
On June 15, the Public Security Department of the southern province of Hainan issued the “Notice on Rewarding Those Who Report Clues on Xie Jiao Illegal and Criminal Activities.” The notice states that those who report clues involving xie jiao “illegal and criminal activities” are rewarded in cash, and the amount of rewards is determined according to the usefulness of clues, with a maximum reward of 100,000 RMB (about $ 140,000).
Province of Guangdong
On May 1, the Public Security Department of the southern province of Guangdong officially adopted the “Trial Measures for Rewarding Reports Involving Xie Jiao Illegal and Criminal Activities”. The document stipulates that those who report clues, if verified to be true, will be rewarded, with a maximum reward of 100,000 RMB (about $ 140,000). This measure will be valid for three years.
According to a report by the Nanfang Daily on June 17, several Falun Gong practitioners from Guangdong Province were reported and arrested for preaching Falun Gong or distributing Falun Gong promotion cards to local residents during the epidemic.
Actually, to offer awards to incite people to report on members of the CCP-banned religious groups, is one of major methods used by the CCP to crack down on religions. This method has been always popular in both rural areas and urban communities in China.
A local official from Xing’an League in Inner Mongolia told Bitter Winter that in October last year, the local government demanded residents in all villages to report on members of banned religious groups to receive awards. Anyone who reports such a member will be rewarded with 10,000 RMB (about $ 1,400), and anyone who reports an out-of-town missionary will be rewarded with 50,000 RMB (about $ 7,000) after the missionary is arrested.
The official said, “The national campaign to crack down on religion is more severe than during the Cultural Revolution.”
A Three-Self Church believer from Nanjing city in the eastern province of Jiangsu told Bitter Winter that it was stated on the conference held in mid-June for local Religious Affairs Bureau officials and National Security Brigade captains that the CCP issued a document demanding to crack down on the CAG in three consecutive years.
The Religious Affairs Bureau asked Three-Self believers to cooperate with the government by reporting CAG members.
To incite as many as possible to participate in the campaign to suppress banned religious groups, the CCP not only offers high monetary awards for informants on members of such groups, but also conducts omnipresent anti-xie-jiao propaganda across China.
On July 1, staff members of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission of Yucheng county, administered by Shangqiu city in the central province of Henan, distributed anti-xie jiao propaganda materials to the people in a park, where various anti-xie jiao propaganda banners were ubiquitous.
A local resident told Bitter Winter that, four days later, personnel from the county’s Religious Affairs Bureau also conducted propaganda in the park. They said, “Don’t believe in any religion other than the Communist Party. It’s enough to believe in the Party and the People’s Government of China.” They even incited people to report on all Christian groups, claiming that “those who report religious believers they discover will be rewarded.”
The CCP government uses various means to incite as many as possible to take part in its campaign to suppress what it calls xie jiao, and even uses ethnic festivals to expand its anti-xie jiao propaganda.
On July 18, the Political and Legal Affairs Commissions of Hechi city and Hechi-administered Dahua Yao Autonomous County in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region carried out an anti-xie jiao propaganda activity on the occasion when local residents celebrated the ethnic Zhuzhu Festival. It is the grandest traditional festival for Bunu Yao people, where they worship and offer sacrifices to their ancestors. The anti-xie–jiao activists also conducted an online synchronized webcast, so that the people and tourists on the spot as well as online followers could receive anti-xie-jiao propaganda education asking them to boycott the xie jiao. According to the Chinese Anti-cult Website, the number of views of the live webcast reached 2,189,000 that day.
Arrests continued during the pandemic
During the past few months, despite the epidemic outbreak, the CAG and other banned religious groups remained the key targets of the CCP’s religious persecution. Up to June, over 800 CAG members had been arrested in six provinces of Sichuan, Shanxi, Jiangsu, Henan, Shandong, and Jiangxi of China.
Now, the CCP tries to involve all the population in the campaign to boycott the xie jiao, and offers high monetary awards for reports, which will further increase the danger to members of the CAG, Falun Gong, and other banned religious groups.