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ICC Note: This riot is from the demolition that happened in July. These Christians are now on trial and could face 3 years in prison for defending their church, and their rights to have a church.

Chinese Christians in riot trial
By James Reynolds
BBC News, Beijing

12/22/06 China (BBC) Eight Chinese Christians are going on trial in the eastern city of Hangzhou charged with instigating violence and interfering with the law.
The charges relate to an incident in the village of Che Lu Wan in July.

There were violent clashes when riot police moved in to demolish a church being built without official approval.

All churches must be registered and sanctioned by the state but millions of Chinese Christians worship in unofficial or underground churches.

Local Christians had been trying to get permission from the authorities to build the new church.

But they got tired of all the delays involved and decided to go ahead anyway, without official approval.

Hundreds began construction work. Then, a few days later, riot police were sent in to demolish the church. There were violent clashes between the two sides.

Now, as a result, eight Christians involved – seven men and one woman – are standing trial.
If convicted, they will face at least three years in jail.

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