Chinese authorities demolish Christian church

Cheryl Sanders
January 14, 2018

But still occasionally pastors are arrested and buildings are destroyed because authorities considered them unofficial groups who gather in a building for worship. There are an estimated 60 million Christians in China, many of whom worship in independent congregations like the Golden Lampstand.

"It also could be a prelude to enforcing the new regulation on religious affairs that will take effect in February", he added.

The Guardian reports that a Catholic church in the neighboring province of Shaanxi was also demolished in a similar fashion last month, which is stoking fears among Christians that the widespread crackdown on churches continues in full force. "ChinaAid calls on the worldwide community to openly condemn the bombing of this church building and urge the Chinese government to fairly compensate the Christians who paid for it and immediately cease these alarming demolitions of churches".

Chinese citizens officially have freedom of belief under the constitution but the authorities tightly control religious groups and churches, which have to swear allegiance to state-controlled "patriotic" associations to avoid any foreign influence through religion.


A pastor of a nearby church said that there were "more police than I could count" preventing worshippers from approaching the site.

According to the state-run Global Times newspaper, the church building was demolished because it lacked the necessary permits and had violated building violations.

In an annual report on freedom of religion, the U.S. state department found that "the government physically abused, detained, arrested, tortured, sentenced to prison, or harassed adherents of both registered and unregistered religious groups for activities related to their religious beliefs and practices".

China Aid, a Texas-based Christian human rights organization, reported that the church has been facing government pressure since it was built 2009. Many of them reached critical condition.


State media at the time said the church leaders were charged with illegally occupying farmland and disturbing traffic order. Her father, Yang Xuan had been imprisoned for three-and-a-half years, while her mother, Yang Caizhen, was sentenced to two years in a re-education labor camp, where she has reportedly suffered beatings. Patrol wagons guarded the church. "Workers smashed the church's glass", she said. At this point, excavators are digging into the church, but we are not allowed to enter or watch.

He added: "ChinaAid calls on the worldwide community to openly condemn the bombing of this church building and urge the Chinese government to fairly compensate the Christians who paid for it and immediately cease these alarming demolitions of churches". "Now, we really have no idea what is going to happen".

On Tuesday, officers of the People's Armed Police, a state paramilitary organization, detonated explosives in the church's underground sanctuary and destroyed the rest of the building, according to ChinaAid, a USA watchdog group that monitors religious freedom in China.


Other reports by iNewsToday

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