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ICC Note: Despite the restoration work that had begun four months ago, for reasons of “urban planning,” local authorities changed their minds and started the demolition of the monumental building in Wangcun. In order to stop the demolition, thousands of believers gathered in front of the building praying and asking Lord to soften their hearts. The authorities have decided to stop the demolition (though might be temporary).

08/29/2017 China (Asia News) – Tens of Catholics have tried to stop the demolition of their church today in Wangcun, a few kilometres from Changzhi, in south-eastern Shanxi province.

As shown in videos below, believers shouted “Jesus save me!” and “Mother Mary, have pity on us!” as they tried to hinder the work of the bulldozer and the police.

In order to stop the demolition, priests and thousands of believers gathered in the rain around the church and the surrounding wall, praying and asking the Lord to “make their heart less hard and act in accordance with the law of the state that protects freedom of religion.”

Previously, the authorities had authorised the restoration of the church, a small jewel dating back to the early 20th century. The restoration work had begun four months ago at considerable cost for the faithful. Now, for reasons of “urban planning”, the authorities changed their mind and decreed the demolition of the monumental building.

In a bylaw dated 25 August 2012, the authorities had decided to return “Wangcun’s old chapel and associated land” to the Catholic Church. But a few weeks ago, the Communist Party District Committee, along with district authorities, decreed the demolition of the entire area, including the walls and the church building. Officially, the reason for this is that “After the demolition, a square will be built to enrich the life of the people”.

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