A video advertisement released last month by authorities in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province promises rewards for citizens who report underground Christian activity. The video, called “How to Report Illegal Religious Activities”, was released in December by the Guangzhou Municipal Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau.

According to Voice of the Martyrs Korea Representative Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, the video simulates the process of a woman reporting a man’s covert Christian activities to the bureau. 

Guangdong Province authorities have been urging citizens to report underground activities for years,” says Representative Foley. “Since 2019 the government’s policy there has been to pay members of the public for information on illegal religious activity and for helping to investigate it.” According to Representative Foley, rewards are higher when religious activities involve foreign Christian organizations. 

Voice of the Martyrs Korea has verified that the Guangzhou video shows a Chinese man participating in an “English corner” organized by foreigners. Members of the group are shown making prayer gestures in dim light. The Chinese man then indicates that they will organize team-building activities overseas. 

The video implies that the English corner is just a cover for foreigners’ illegal religious activities,” says Representative Foley.  

In the video, a woman observes the activity and then reports it to the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau.  

“She receives a reward, smiles, and says it is her ‘relationship fund’—which means money saved and used specifically for dating,” says Representative Foley. 

The video then shows a member of the religious bureau explaining that if citizens in Guangzhou suspect illegal religious activities they can report it by phone, mail, or in person and receive a reward. 

According to the Guangzhou Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau’s “Measures for Rewarding the Masses for Reporting Illegal Religious Activities, rewards may be given for reporting activities related to religious extremism, endangering national security, engaging in terrorist activities, disrupting social order, establishing venues for religious activities without permission, and conducting unauthorized religious education and training activities. 

The measures say that citizens who provide information and assist in investigating illegal religious activities involving non-foreign religious organizations are eligible for rewards ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 CNY (approx. 180,000 to 550,000 KRW), while citizens reporting on and helping with investigation of foreign religious organizations may receive between 3,000 and 10,000 CNY (approx. 550,000 to 1,800,000 KRW).  

(file photo) Christian house church raided by undercover police, undated.

Representative Foley says that although the reward program has been in place for years, the release of the video may indicate government efforts to stimulate more reporting amidst a lack of public participation in the program.  

“Why advertise unless the program is not as effective as the government wants it to be?” Representative Foley asks. “I think it shows that members of the general public know that Christian activity is not a threat to Chinese national security or Chinese culture. Even reward money can’t get citizens to treat their Christian neighbors as criminals.” 

Individuals interested in learning about or supporting Voice of the Martyrs Korea’s work in partnership with persecuted Christians in China can visit or give via electronic transfer to: 


KB Bank: 463501-01-243303 

Account Holder: ()순교자의소리 

Please note “China” on the transfer. 

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