International Christian Concern is reporting that Zhejiang province officials leveled the 4,000-seat Sanjiang Christian Church April 28 in Wenzhou City. A bulldozer flattened the property despite a weeks-long protest involving hundreds of devoted Christians who formed a human chain around the church.
At what initially appeared to be an isolated event, ICC officials claim the destruction indicates reveals a widespread anti-church crackdown.
“Xia Baolong, the local provincial party secretary, is blatantly undermining China’s carefully crafted human rights image presented to the international community as he continues to implement his anti-church campaign to limit religious freedom and the gathering of Christians,” said Sooyoung Kim, ICC’s regional manager for East Asia.” He has ignored the desperate pleas of thousands of his own citizens and the glare and condemnation of the international media spotlight.”
Pastors and Christian leaders have delivered a letter to the Wenzhou City government condemning the anti-church campaign, but the government has gone out of its way to block the contents of the letter from being viewed by the public.
“Concerned Christians must call the Chinese embassy and asked them to reign in Xia Baolong’s attacks on churches in Zhejiang Province,” said Kim. “Ask them to enforce Article 36 of China’s constitution, and to immediately cease the demolition of churches and the removal of church steeples and crosses.”
Publication date: June 27, 2014