Reportedly, a reward of 500 yuan (around $73) was promised for photos, video or recordings of religious events between August 20 and September 20.
The fact that Gushi County is directly governed by China’s central Henan province and has the largest registered population in Henan is concerning. Henan province is where China’s underground house church movement began.
The information about the reward came to light when a summer camp hosted by a church in the county was interrupted and raided by government officials who accused the church of holding “illegal” activities. During the raid, plainclothes police confiscated personal and church property and took the pastor and his wife to the police station.
A church member told China Aid that the officials suggested they acted on information from a third party, saying they had received “report from folks.” Earlier, the Gushi County Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau had announced the campaign to reward ordinary citizens for information about “illegal” church activities.