Fidelity bank banner UBA banner
China demolishes churches

By Benjamin Haas, Hong Kong on 12/01/2018

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 3,258

•A branch of theGolden Lampstand Church China
•A branch of theGolden Lampstand Church China

A church in northern China was demolished this week, the second in less than a month, sparking fears of a wider campaign against Christians as authorities prepare to enforce new laws on religion.

Police cordoned off the area around the Golden Lampstand Church church in Linfen, Shanxi province on Sunday before construction workers detonated explosives inside, according to witnesses and the head pastor. After the initial explosion, crews broke apart the remaining pieces with diggers and jackhammers.

A Catholic church in the neighbouring province of Shaanxi was also reportedly demolished last month, 20 years after it originally opened.

China guarantees freedom of religion on paper, but in practice authorities heavily regulate many aspects of religious life. Churches must be officially sanctioned and pastors must adhere to a host of rules imposed by the government.

The restrictive policies have given rise to “house” churches, independent places of worship that exist outside official channels. Authorities periodically arrest pastors or demolish buildings used by unsanctioned congregations.

But authorities have taken a harder line since 2013 against towering crosses and large cathedrals. Officials launched a sweeping crackdown on churches in Zhejiang province that accelerated in 2015, and more than 1,200 crosses have been removed, according to activists.

In an annual report on freedom of religion, the United States State Department found that “the government physically abused, detained, arrested, tortured, sentenced to prison, or harassed adherents of both registered and unregistered religious groups for activities related to their religious beliefs and practices”.

A pastor at a nearby church arrived after the blast at the Golden Lampstand Church and watched construction crews break apart the remains of the building. The pastor asked his name not be published for fear of retaliation by the authorities.

There were “more police than I could count” preventing a crowd on onlookers and worshipers from approaching the site, the pastor said.

“My heart was sad to see this demolition and now I worry about more churches being demolished, even my own,” he said. “This church was built in 2008. There’s no reason for them to destroy it now.”

The Golden Lampstand Church was built a decade ago and cost a total of 17m yuan (about £1.9 million) at the time, according to the head pastor Yang Rongli. Yang previously spent seven years in jail on charges of “assembling a crowd to disturb traffic order”, and has been under police surveillance since her release in October 2016, according to China Aid, a Christian NGO based in the United States.

“I think this might be a new pattern against any independent house churches with an existing building or intention to build one,” said Bob Fu, founder of China Aid. “It also could be a prelude to enforcing the new regulation on religious affairs that will take effect in February.”

The government revised laws regulating religious groups last year for the first time since 2005, increasing control over a places of worship from limiting the construction of statutes outside churches to imposing fines of up to 300,000 yuan (£34,000) for holding “unauthorised religious activities”.

Another church was demolished in a small village in Shaanxi in late December, according to AsiaNews, a China-focused Catholic news website. The building was built in 1999 and local authorities did not give a reason for the demolition.

Officials at the Linfen bureau of religious affairs did not respond to requests for comment.

•Text courtesy of The Guardian UK

 

 

Source News Express

Posted 12/01/2018 12:48:50 AM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
Police nabs hired killer in Bauchi

HURIWA raised alarm over growing suppression of media...

Buhari’s travelling escapades and neglect of promised ‘change’...

Terrorists behead one of their members in error...

Orji Kalu, The Sun slam N2 billion libel...

Thank you so much Garba Shehu for this...

Nigeria bleeds as Buhari’s sickness lingers

5 new companies to emerge from NIPOST –...

Foreign Airlines: Lagos airport most expensive in the...

Abiapoly receives another N200m from state government

EFCC rejects Ganduje’s N10 million donation

How doctors saved Buhari’s son from death after...

 

Latest News 2019: APC buying PVCs at N3,000, N10,000 — PDP Salaries, pensions: NLC draws battle-line with governors Having sex in a car in public not a crime, says Police Buhari’s refusal to sign Electoral Act, a ploy to rig 2019 elections — Wike NIS launches gun-boat in Cross River to curb illegal migration 2019: Buhari, Atiku, others sign Peace Accord Edo Govt. seals deal to effect permanent repairs on all potholes in the state No plan to increase petrol pump price — PPPRA Woman’s outrage as alleged rapist walks free Shell emerges Local Content Operator of the year Electoral Act: Override Buhari, Peter Obi Support Network tells NASS Oyo APA guber candidate accuses NURTW of campaigning for APC candidates

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (429,643 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (394,659 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (327,570 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (280,898 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (247,729 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (229,208 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (212,014 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (193,219 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (179,504 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (170,382 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (167,168 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (153,654 views)

 

Zenith Zero Balance First Bank chat banking

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (76) Business & Economy (3,873) Business Verdict (54) Columnists (972) Complaints & Requests (95) Enterprise & Opportunities (208) Entertainment (575) Features (679) Global Business Monitor (311) International (2,806) Interview (167) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (146) Maggie's Blog (69) News (41,345) Opinion (1,150) Pidgin (13) Politics (8,120) Religion (911) Sports (1,815) Stock Watch (35) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera