Shaanxi Government Plans to Demolish More Churches
04/10/2019 China (International Christian Concern) – Shaanxi government sent at least 600 government officials and policemen this morning to demolish the Marian shrine of Mujiaping in the Diocese of Fengxiang.
Located on a mountainous area of the district of Taibai, the Marian shrine of Mujiaping serves the impoverished population in the area. Local residents use the shrine as a place of pilgrimage to a statue of the Virgin Mary.
According to Asia News, about 200 parishioners came to the shrine the night prior to conduct a sit-in protest. They gathered on the steps leading to the church to defend the sanctuary. “We are willing to lay down our lives,” one of them said.
Given the size of the demolition team, it is unlikely for them to successfully block the government’s attempt, which is to take down the sanctuary, the historic gate from which leads to the church, and the statue of Virgin Mary that welcomes pilgrims.
They ask for prayers for the preservation of the sanctuary and the salvation of the population, especially as the authorities have planned to demolish at least other three churches in the coming days and already destroyed the Qianyang church from the same diocese on April 4.
The Diocese of Fengxiang is being targeted by the government for its refusal to join the Patriotic Association, a government-controlled agency seeking to grow its “independent Catholic church” outside of the Vatican. An official reportedly threatened the diocese and said, “If you don’t sign up, we will destroy everything.”
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