Priests in China’s Henan Province have been ordered to disclose personal information about the people attending their churches.
According to one priest in the area who has chosen to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation from communist authorities, the order handed down calls on him to gather statistics on churchgoers, particularly those who are members of poor families, UCA News reports.
Per the report, the government is claiming that the information obtained will be used to improve how churches are managed moving forward, but the priest from the Luoyang Diocese of Sanmenxia City is skeptical.
The priest suspects that there’s an ulterior motive to the order. He believes that the government could withhold subsidies from low-income families who attend churches as a way of punishing them for following and practicing their faith.
He also described the new order being imposed by the government as “totally unreasonable.”
The priest said he’s taking the wait and see approach for now, and will plan his next move once authorities return to conduct an inspection. The visits from the authorities will be unannounced.
Another priest in the Anyang Diocese of Henan also claims to have received the same orders from the authorities.
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Source: Christian Post