A new set of laws for religious organizations, recently drafted by the Ministry of the Interior, mandates that temples and churches show financial transparency. The aim was to prevent unscrupulous practices, but some religious groups have taken it differently, questioning if the laws are even constitutional. Holding up incenses and praying, here is Wanhe Temple in Taichung. The temple was built three hundred years ago, and it is recognized as a national level three ancient monument. Countless prayers went in and out, half of the temple revenue came from selling incenses and joss papers. But where did the money go? ==MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC== It's the money donated from people, so it must spent on affairs related with people. It should be reasonable, and it's better to have some guidelines to rely on. Donors are willing to see financial transparency, many large-sized temples had already registered as foundations. In the religious organizations draft, regulation would further require financial report submission to authority. ==VOICE: KAO HSIU-FENG Exe. Secretary, Taichung Leh Cherng Temple== Supervisors and managing supervisors have been monitoring. Monthly activities on revenue and expenditure, the accounting department is very detail-oriented, they also do audit every month. Some Buddhism and Taoism groups said, it will be difficult for all to register as foundations. Some religious groups regard restrictions on hosting events as obstructions to religious freedom. ==VOICE: CHEN CHIH-HUN Director, Taiwan Lutheran Church== You cannot simply just divide this issue into two sides. Would it be better off to have regulations? It depends on how you set articles. ==HSIAO CHING-CHIEH Chairman, Wanhe Temple== (Government) can just provide guideline for us to follow, do not set regulations into details. Then I would believe such religious organization act would be more acceptable to most organizations. Many organizations pointed out, religions have differences, as they are not suitable to be regulated under one set of law. The government should regulate religious organizations based on guidelines and retain flexibilities. TRANSLATED BY: ANTHONY LIN 內政部最近草擬宗教團體法,除了對部份宗教行為有規範,對宗教團體的財務,也規定透明化,結果引發爭議,有多個宗教團體發起連署,質疑這項草案以管制、防止舞弊為目的,卻已違反憲法保障的宗教信仰自由,呼籲政府應輔導宗教團體健全化,避免約束太多。 信眾手拿清香虔誠膜拜 ,台中南屯的萬和宮,三百多年前就是當地的信仰中心,也是國定的三級古蹟,每天參拜的人潮絡繹不絕,賣金紙和香油錢,佔了收益的一大半,但是這些錢該怎麼用,民眾也很關心。 ==民眾== 既然是眾人的錢 要做眾人之事 既然是眾人之事 應該是有個理法 要有個依據 比較好一點這樣 民眾對於財務透明化表示樂觀其成,而像是萬和宮、樂成宮這類的大型宮廟,已經是財團法人,在宗教團體法草案中,除了要求財務公開透明,也要將財務報告彙整給主管機關,不少宮廟說,已經在這麼做了。 ==台中樂成宮總幹事 高秀鳳== 監事 常務監事都在監督 所以每個月收支 收入支出的話 會計部門都做的非常詳細 每個月也都會查帳 佛道教宗教團體指出,實務上要全面財團法人化可能有困難,而另外對於宗教活動也有規範限制,宗教團體認為,這麼做讓宗教自由綁手綁腳。 ==基督教台灣信義會主任 陳志宏== 不能這樣二分法 有法或沒法是好或不好 要看你怎麼訂它 ==萬和宮董事長 蕭清杰== 應該做個原則上的制訂或規定 不要訂的太死 我相信說 宗教團體法 可以這樣訂 應該是大家 會比較容易接受 不少宗教團體認為,不同宗教之間的差異極大,不可能用同一套法律規範所有宗教,建議應該原則性規範,以及輔導宗教團體健全化,才不會被法令綁的沒有彈性。 林健生 賴世杰 台中報導