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Wenzhou government succeeds at demolishing Salvation Church's cross on third attempt

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


China Aid Association

(Wenzhou, Zhejiang—Aug. 19, 2014) Authorities in China’s coastal Zhejiang province successfully demolished the cross topping Salvation Church on their third attempt early Thursday morning.

“[The cross] was demolished [Thursday] between 3-6:30 a.m.,” a Salvation Church member named Zhang said.

“The [government] sealed the roads,” another worshipper said. When asked how many people the government sent to demolish the cross, the worshipper said there were more than 100 government agents.

Authorities began trying to demolish the Wenzhou-based Salvation Church’s cross in early July. The second time they attempted to remove the cross, on July 21, police injured more than 60 Christians who were guarding the cross. At least 14 of those believers were sent to a hospital for treatment (see http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/07/christians-hospitalized-after-wenzhou.html and http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/07/14-receive-significant-injuries-in.html).

One of the injured believers was Zhang Zhimin, who suffered a skull fracture, a broken nose and a broken brow ridge. Zhang underwent an operation to correct one of his injuries and returned home on Thursday.

“I know the cross was demolished yesterday,” Zhang said when speaking to China Aid on Friday. “Many [Christian] brothers and sisters went to see the demolition of the cross, but I don’t know the exact number…because their operation last night was secretive, and many brothers and sisters didn’t know [of] the demolition until after it was demolished.

“When many brothers and sisters see the cross demolished, they are certainly very pained at heart,” Zhang said. “Even now,

many of them are still very sad, as if their hearts were dug out by other people.

“They are continuing demolishing the crosses. As [for] how many crosses they are going to demolish, we are still not very clear. Now, they are taking people into custody everywhere. If someone comes to guard the cross, they will find a reason to take him into custody. The government is very mean in their methods, and they can do anything imaginable,” Zhang said.

Zhang told China Aid that authorities in Pingyang County, Wenzhou, where the church is located, have detained more than 10 people, including the church’s pastor, Huang Yizi, and other church staff members. Huang was placed under criminal detention on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to assault a state agency” (see http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/07/summons-notices-increase-with-zhejiang.html and http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/08/wenzhou-christians-detained-others.html).

Zhang said that, at this time, the detained “dare not hire lawyers.”

“The [government] wants to demolish the cross. What can we do about it?” one Christian said. “The government would certainly not let the matter drop. Even if we don’t agree to let them demolish it, what can we do? If we engage in business in the future, they will certainly put you on their blacklist.”

In addition to the persecution of Salvation Church, Zengshan Christian Church, located in a village in Wenzhou, had the electricity cut off by authorities in an attempt to coerce the church into demolishing the cross themselves on Friday. Local believers said they fear that a forced cross demolition looms in Zengshan Christian Church’s future.

In Hangzhou, Zhejiang’s provincial capital, the city’s largest church, Gulou Church, was forcibly demolished on Wednesday by about 100 government employees while more than 200 church members stood by singing hymns and praying in hopes of stopping the demolition.


China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Tel: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: r.ritchie@chinaaid.org
Website: www.chinaaid.org | www.monitorchina.org


"Bob Fu has dedicated his life to bringing freedom of religion to the Chinese people. His story is a testimony to the power of faith and an inspiration to people struggling to break free from oppression."
—Mrs. Laura Bush

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