Christianity’s Inevitable Catacomb is Blockchain

Miklos Kadar
4 min readFeb 26, 2019


As societies gradually become cashless Christianity is facing the challenge of secular control of finances the way it has never faced before. Blockchain (Decentralised Ledger Technologies) could offer solutions to the Church but few congregations realised the inevitability of this new technology so far.

A cross stands in the Roman catacombs

There are at least two problems with the current digital finances for Christianity:

  1. How to give donations anonymously
  2. How to maintain financial functionality in the probable case of illegality

1. Giving in secret

According to our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:3–4) when we give we should do it in secret. But the usual digital ways of payments do not offer the type of secrecy Jesus asks. Those who pay the tithe in a western country usually wire the money from their bank account to the church’s. That does not happen in secret at all. The involved banks keep the records of it, all authorities (tax, law enforcement, judicial etc.) register it and finally all financial administrators at the church know about it. (Not to mention our left hand…)

In Matthew chapter 6. Jesus talks about the secrecy of giving before he gives us The Lord’s Prayer. That prayer is told exactly the same way for two thousand years. Why wouldn’t we take his words about ‘giving-in-secret’ just as seriously?

To sense the gravity and actuality of the cashless challenge to churches let’s have a look at the situation in Sweden. In a report Swedish pastors talk about the logistical infeasibility of handling cash the old way. Many bank branches in the Swedish countryside stopped taking cash deposits. So the congregation had to go cashless and start using a mobile app to be able to give money during the service.

Using a credit card or a payment app is just as far away from secrecy as a wire transfer and it is far away from our Lord’s command. Third-parties see and know all details of our transactions. They keep the records and only the ever changing legislation regulates what they can or cannot do with that particular data.

In certain historical situations the data of our religious activities and financial commitments can mean imprisonment or worse.

2. Going underground

Throughout history Christianity has always been persecuted. Unfortunately this has not changed over time and based on the current trends the near future also looks dark for Christians. Harassment of Christians is growing globally. According to Pew Research Christianity is the most harassed religion in the world. But from the point of view of financial controls the scariest fact is that Christians face harassment from governments more often than from social groups.

From theological point of view we can argue about the measures of strength of a church but from political point of view a congregation is as strong as its financials. When governments are turning into persecutors of Christianity the first thing they analyse and hit is the financials of Christian organisations and believers. Analysing our transaction history will tell any persecutor which churches are stronger financially and which believers support the churches the most. So our transaction history will tell our persecutors where to hit first. Whom to persecute or harass first. They can confiscate and seize bank accounts and ban the openings of new ones.

Practically it is hard to regard a church alive without finances. Theologically there is no believer without sacrifices. And in our modern society our thanksgiving sacrifice is predominantly money. So in a cashless society by banning Christians from banking most religious functions would suffer or seize to exist completely.

Where are the digital catacombs?

According to Wikipedia: “…Catacombs are human-made subterranean passageways for religious practice…” Catacombs were the safe places from harassments of our past. The catacomb of our digital age is called blockchain (distributed ledger technology — DLT). A place where we can hide our finances and protect our earthly values. Where Christians can give and accept money in secret without the surveillance and interference of authorities. Where we can sacrifice the way Jesus Christ told us to do so.

Don’t get me wrong I am not advocating for breaking the law or tax evasion. As of today crypto assets are a legal way of giving and accepting donations in most jurisdictions. Also using cryptocurrencies is not a convenient way to manage finances. Just like catacombs were not places to live rather those subterranean chambers were places to survive. And also most blockchain applications are not as simple and user-friendly as online banking. Buying, storing and exchanging cryptocurrencies require learning and practicing a new and complex technology.
But I do say that knowing how to use blockchains and cryptocurrencies is an inevitable step all Christian congregations should take.

If the Holy Spirit inspires you please, start helping your church adopting cryptocurrencies today!