EXCESSIVE charges are preventing house churches from registering with the authorities, a senior Protestant leader said. Acting general secretary of the Chinese Christian Council, Han Wenzao, said some churches in Jiangsu province had complained they were forced to pay high registration fees because there was no standard charge. A team of six Christian leaders organised by the provincial People's Political Consultative Conference was dispatched to investigate the claims earlier this year. Mr Han said after negotiations with the provincial government, the maximum fee for registration had now been set at 200 yuan (HK$186) in the north, and 300 yuan in the richer southern part of Jiangsu. The provincial Religious Affairs Bureau had also promised to refund fees to those churches which were overcharged, Mr Han said, according to an Amity News Service report to be published next week. But cases of excessive charges were referred to the State Council's Religious Affairs Bureau, he said. The problem in other provinces was still being monitored, the church leader said. All house churches are required to register with the Government under a regulation passed this year.