Pressure on China Churches Mounting
Select churches in China are now being asked to hand over even their donations to the government, reports ChinaAid.org, a website working as an advocate for religious freedom in China, argued by some to be the world's second most powerful nation.
ChinaAid.org reported, 'Authorities in China’s coastal Zhejiang province recently demanded that some churches hand all their income, including donations, to the government as part of a movement to implement more official regulations.
Since last year, the Chinese government has been pressuring churches to implement the “five transformations,” which consist of “localizing religion (through adopting local architectural styles for church buildings), standardizing management, indigenizing theology (by contextualizing sermons), financial transparency and adapting Christian teachings,” in order to mold Christianity into an institution that reflects the objectives of the Communist Party. As a result, the government established office spaces within churches and assigned officials to closely regulate them."
Locals with knowledge of the situation have told China Aid that permission must now be granted to decorate the church or make any changes to the appearance of places of worship.