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05/13/2012 China (ChinaAid) – A church in the provincial capital of coastal Anhui province was illegally demolished last month by government-backed real estate developers who left the church site looking like the scene of a bombing in a movie, ChinaAid has learned.

The members of the church in Zou Gang, Feixi county are calling for urgent prayers following the April 27 destruction of their 800 square-meter (8,600 square-feet) church building. They hope to be able to resume normal worship services and meetings soon.

As part of the economic development and expansion the city of Hefei, the Zou Gang church site was part of an area marked for demolition, and the church’s board of deacons decided to actively cooperate with the city’s development needs. From April to November 2011, the church was in discussion with the Communist Party committee of Chaohu village, Feixi county and the Xingang Industrial Park about resettlement and other related matters. During the discussions, the attitude of the developers was often tough and arbitrary, and they gave many excuses for refusing to make resettlement arrangements for the church.

On April 27, at about 8 p.m., more than 100 unidentified people arrived at the church and illegally demolished it. Some broke down the main gate to the church compound, others broke down the door to the duty room and stormed inside, dragging several staff members on duty from the duty room, including one 60-plus-year-old Christian woman who was injured in the process. It was only after other Christians rushed to the scene that she was not taken to the hospital, by fellow church members, for treatment. Other members of the demolition crew blocked church members from entering the church compound while a large bulldozer started to tear down the church building.

Within minutes, this building where more than 500 Christians had worshiped for more than 10 years was forcibly demolished. The site looked like a bombing scene from a movie. The Zou Gang Christians are very angry about this entire series of barbaric events and unlawful violence that disrupted their normal worship activities.

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