Illegal Fundraising Harms Church
By CCD contributor: Mu Sheng, March 10, 2018 09:03 AM
The Gospel Times, a Beijing-based Christian news website, recently disclosed some illegal fundraising cases that harmed churches and individual Christians.
A year ago, illegal fundraisers persuaded a preacher in a Henan church to lend them 100,000 yuan for a nonexistent national project. They promised high returns on the loan. One month later, the preacher received 200,000 yuan back. Having the sweetness, she lent them another 500,000 yuan and shared the good news with her church preachers who were poor and might get rich with the idea.
A few part-time preachers followed her and made some money in the first two months. To earn higher interests, they put all their money into the project and even borrowed some to make a one-year investment. After a year, it turned out that they couldn't withdraw their money or contact the lenders. Realizing that they were deceived, they demanded the repayment of the loans from the preacher who couldn't afford to pay the debts. As the deadline to make the payment was approaching, she secretly left the town with her husband and their five-year-old child.
What was more, many believers were defrauded in the same way.
Elder X from a church shared a fraudulent case that happened in his church.
Some years ago, some people used false advertising and borrowed funds at high-interest rates from individuals for the purpose of supporting national projects. Claiming that they had contracted the projects, they showed the so-called construction sites to victims and promised that lenders could get high earnings and could get their money back anytime. Actually, it was impossible for individuals to undertake those national projects. A number of the church's members believed their words.
The frauds gave them some dividends for the first loan and continued to offer them benefits. Then the Christians let their guard down and spread the way of earning money to their relatives and friends.
The fundraisers promised that they could get their money back on that year's first month. However, the promise was never fulfilled. At first, they could get through on the telephone to the frauds, but later there was no answer. Elder X revealed that they might have lent over ten million yuan.
This occurred while the church started to build a new facility. For the deficiency of the construction fund, the church asked to borrow money from its congregation and would pay them as much interest as the bank gave. A large portion of believers lent money that bridged the funding gap. But when they learned of the illegal fundraising, many members wanted their money back from the church despite that the church pastors pointed out the harm of this form of gathering funds. The church had to satisfy them.
Afterward, the new facility was completed and the church began to gather there. Those who engaged in illegal fundraising came back after having found fooled by the scam.
One day, some of them prayed with tears and cries in the church because they paid around ten million yuan back and their husbands were arrested. Creditors queued up before their houses to get money, but they couldn't afford the rest of the several million yuan.
Elder X added that currently the church exhorts the congregation not to participate in illegal fundraising, but doesn't have the authority to intervene in their choice. Only propaganda on illegal fundraising is forbidden inside the church. No member is involved in the sector at present.
- Translated by Karen Luo
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