UCA News
Contribute

Chinese bishops win electricity price cut

New deal means cheaper power to the people
Chinese bishops win electricity price cut

Wanghailou Church in Tianjin diocese, a national monument

Published: July 09, 2013 07:56 AM GMT
Updated: July 08, 2013 10:00 PM GMT

While the price of basic commodities seems to rise relentlessly all over the world, China’s Catholics have received some welcome news.

Under a new electricity price scheme, religious venues have been re-classified as residential units instead of their former classification as government premises. The change should result in their bills being cut by as much as two thirds.

The exemption was secured by a group of five bishops, including two illegitimate bishops who are not recgnized by the Holy See, who requested it at a plenary meeting of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, of which they are members, in March.

One of the five, Bishop Joseph Shen Bin of Haimen, told ucanews.com: “The Church is not a profit making organization but the home of clergy and nuns. So it should be counted as residential.” 

The proposal was ratified in May and about 13,900 registered venues of the five government-recognized religions will now benefit from the reduction.

Although the government does not officially recognize the unregistered Catholic community, some of their venues will still enjoy the lower tariff, as they are either acknowledged as buildings of historical interest or have been legally registered through the help of the open community.

While the change has been generally welcomed by parish priests, a warning that “it may be just a gimmick,"came from one priest from the open community in Tianjin diocese. 

“What is more important for the Church is a change in religious policy to give us more freedom, not this kind of price reduction which is just a drop in the bucket for the government," he said. 

Help UCA News to be independent
Dear reader,
Trafficking is one of the largest criminal industries in the world, only outdone by drugs and arms trafficking, and is the fastest-growing crime today.
Victims come from every continent and are trafficked within and to every continent. Asia is notorious as a hotbed of trafficking.
In this series, UCA News introduces our readers to this problem, its victims, and the efforts of those who shine the light of the Gospel on what the Vatican calls “these varied and brutal denials of human dignity.”
Help us with your donations to bring such stories of faith that make a difference in the Church and society.
A small contribution of US$5 will support us continue our mission…
William J. Grimm
Publisher
UCA News
Asian Bishops
Latest News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia