Stay Alert and Pray: More Churches and Crosses Demolished in China
More Zhejiang churches report threats, demolition of buildings, crosses
More than 15 churches have been torn down within two weeks after the demolition of Sanjiang Church in Zhejiang province, China, and almost 50 churches are facing demolition or modification in the near future. More than 10 Christians have been detained and some of them are facing criminal charges. Zhejiang province have seen the church and cross demolition across the “illegal” and well-registered churches, the state churches and house churches, the Protestant and Catholic churches.
A local pastor said: “Everybody is crying. According to the plan of the Zhejiang provincial government, they are [supposed] to demolish crosses at roadsides that can be seen. Their next step is to demolish the crosses that cannot be seen.”
05/09/2014 China (ChinaAid)- Less than two weeks after the demolition of Sanjiang Church on April 28, more than 15 churches have reported persecution relating to coastal Zhejiang province’s “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” campaign; however, the number of churches facing demolition or modification is rumored to be closer to 50.
Additionally, while several believers, who were detained around the time Sanjiang Church, in Yongjia County, Wenzhou, was demolished, are scheduled to be released next week, some are facing charges (see http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/04/two-zhejiang-churches-demolished.html and http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/04/zhejiang-christians-fear-sanjiang.html).
Wuai Church in Cangnan County, Wenzhou, which was still under construction, was forcibly demolished on May 3. One local pastor, who wished to remain anonymous, said he wasn’t sure if the four-story, Protestant church was government-sanctioned or not. “In Wenzhou, it’s hard to tell a house church from a Three-Self church. Many churches are very independent, but they may have registered with the government,” he said.
The same day, a Catholic church in Liushi, Yueqing County, Wenzhou, was demolished. “The church building in Yueqing was…funded by the boss of Renmin Group, [a large corporation] in Yueqing. It was built in a forest on a hill,” Mr. Tan, a Yueqing citizen and Christian, said. “The authorities claimed the building didn’t have approval.”
“This time, the TSPM churches and house churches united as brothers and sisters,” Mr. Tan said in reference to the local community coming together to stand guard at the Catholic church, similar to what Wenzhou-area Christians did at Sanjiang Church before its demolition. “The situation was very tense, and we walked together—whoever had a loving heart came out to protect the church,” he said.