ChinaAid reports that authorities in China’s Anhui province shut down and demolished Shunchang School, a private and church-run school, in early September. It is reported that, even though the school has all the licenses and meets the requirements of the state, it was still demolished. One student’s parent said that “the local government is targeting the school solely because of its religious roots.” The school has appealed in an open letter to Chinese president Xi Jinping.
09/16/2014 China (ChinaAid)– Authorities in China’s coastal Anhui shut down and demolished a private, church-run school in early September, claiming that certain equipment did not meet safety standards. The school later appealed in an open letter to Chinese president Xi Jinping.
Officials at Shunchang School, a private school in Fuyang, Anhui, founded by the Yingshang Church, received a notice from the Fuyang Department of Education on Aug. 28 stating that the school had until Aug. 31, the day before classes started, to shut down due to fire extinguishers and other equipments allegedly not meeting safety standards, or else they would face demolition.
In addition, authorities notified parents that the school was going to be shut down, according to Fang Han, the school’s principal. However, on Sept. 1, students and teachers arrived at the school and proceeded to begin the school year as scheduled.
“The government officials have held a meeting and want to abolish our school,” Fang said. “The first step they took is notifying the parents… that the school has been shut down… They told the parents not to send their children here. However, the parents still believe in the school and send their children here. Now, nearly 800 students have come to the school.”
“They have all the licenses and meet the requirements of the state,” a pastor familiar with the circumstances told China Aid on Sept. 1. “They also meet the requirements for fire protection. From sixth grade to middle school, high school, and the school for the associate degrees, they all use the government’s system. They all use the government’s textbooks.”
The pastor also said that while the school is run by a church and most of the staff and students are Christians, the school doesn’t turn away non-believers.
One parent told China Aid that the local government is targeting the school solely because of its religious roots. “The government just wants to suppress and bully the school,” Mr. Ma said on Aug. 31. “My son and daughter both study at the school. I don’t know the reason why the Fuyang government is against Christians, and they also know all the students and teachers are Christians.