In Zhejiang province, the “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” campaign has been carried out for over 6 months in China and more than 200 church crosses have been forcibly removed during the campaign. This article compiles the list of the church crosses that were newly removed. The local believers told ICC to pray that God helps them to stand firm in faith and not to be fearful facing persecution.
10/13/2014 China (ChinaAid)-The effects of the province-wide “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” campaign continue to be felt by Christians throughout China’s coastal Zhejiang province, especially in Wenzhou. Early this morning, authorities in Wenzhou attempted to demolish the cross topping a church that has been guarded around the clock by Christians for the past two months; five other churches have reported persecution to China Aid since our last report.
Xialing Church, in Wenzhou’s Lucheng District, was attacked by more than 600 government employees and police officers early this morning. Hundreds of Christians were present, guarding the church just as they have been for the last two months.
Once officials arrived, they began trying to take over the church in order to demolish the cross. Because of the believers’ presence, authorities were unable to demolish the cross and instead took down part of the church’s outer wall, as well as the door at the main entrance and some windows.
In the process of demolishing the church’s wall, police injured at least three Christians, causing an elderly man to be taken to a local hospital for medical attention.
Officials finally gave up, but told church members they would be back soon to demolish the entire church.
On Sept. 30, Christians reported that Gaoao Church in Yongjia County, Wenzhou, was confronted by several hundred government employees equipped with heavy machinery who succeeded in demolishing the church’s cross after a failed attempt in August.
“In taking down the cross of Gaoao Church, some people were taken into custody, but no one was injured. It was later confirmed that 14 worshippers were taken into custody,” a church member said.
Guankou Church in Wenzhou’s Taishun County was targeted for demolition on Sept. 29, but authorities were forced to abandon their efforts due to a strong storm.
“According to their original plan, the [authorities] would come to Guankou Church and take down the cross. However, there was a storm with thunder and lightning so there was no way they could do it,” a Wenzhou-area church employee said.
Church members told China Aid that Taishun County authorities sent Guankou Church a demolition notice on Sept. 28 that had been issued by the Taishun County Bureau of Housing and Urban Planning on Sept. 25. The notice stated that church must withdraw from its building by 8 a.m. on Sept. or face “all the consequences.”
The cross on Wangxiang Church in the Ouhai District of Wenzhou was demolished on Sept. 26.
Wangxiang Church was formerly a house church, but joined the local Three-Self Patriotic Movement in 2006. At that time, the TSPM granted the church a certificate for religious activities and provided services for the construction of the church’s building.