Chinese authorities bulldozed a registered church building July 17 without warning to make way for construction of a new neighborhood and train station.
International Christian Concern (ICC) reported that more than 70 police officers and workers showed up to take down the Liangwang Catholic Church building in China’s Shandong province. They lacked the proper documentation, but it didn’t matter.
Church officials Gao Rongli, Zhang Siling and Li Xiangmei – who were inside the building -- had their phones confiscated and destroyed. It took only 15 minutes to demolish the building using bulldozers and pickaxes, according to ICC. Officials spared nothing, destroying the altars, benches and furnishings.
“The disproportionate manpower used to demolish this church goes to show that China is fearful of Christians,” said Gina Goh, ICC’s regional manager. “The government knew that the demolition in the name of urban zoning would be met with resistance, so it ensured success by taking extreme measures. Despite their best efforts to intimidate the Church with actions like this, the government cannot destroy the faith and resilience of Chinese Christians.”
It isn’t uncommon for China to destroy churches for commercial purposes, ICC reported. Last year, a Catholic church near a highway exit in Shaanxi province was demolished, likely for commercial purposes.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com
Publication Date: July 20, 2018
Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.