Shaanxi Government Demolishes the Only Parish in Qianyang

04/05/2019 China (International Christian Concern) – On April 4, the government in Shaanxi province forcibly demolished the only parish in Qianyang city. The two-story building was reduced to a pile of rubble by a bulldozer, under the supervision of local police.

In a video shared by Asia News, women believed to be parishioners from Qianyang could be heard crying as they watched the demolition unfold in front of their eyes.

Situated in an impoverished area of ​​Shaanxi, Qianyang parish gathers around 2,000 Catholics, all of whom are farmers. Other communities in the diocese contributed to the construction to this parish. The second floor of the building was used as the liturgy room, whereas the ground floor was used for offices and clergy residence.

The reason for the forced demolition is still unknown, but as part of the Fengxiang Diocese, the only diocese where neither the Catholics nor the bishop are members of the Patriotic Association, it is not surprising that the government targeted them to pressure the church into joining the state-backed Catholic churches in the area.

Underground Catholic churches in China these days are facing intensified crackdown, as Beijing seeks to ‘unify’ them with the state-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association and submit them under the authority of the Party, instead of the Pope.

For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

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