Christian Daily: China's Communist Party bent on demolishing more Christian Churches

Friday, April 29, 2016

Christian Daily
By Lorraine Caballero
29 April, 2016 12:25 pm

■ China's Communist Party is still not done demolishing Christian Churches in the country as it reportedly ordered the destruction of another Church building claiming the placement of its cross was too high.

On April 13, authorities demolished the Island Head Christian Church in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, saying the structure violated China's policy on buildings. Church members initially fought against the demolition team, but later relented after they received threats from the officials, according to China Aid.

Believers take part in a weekend mass at an underground
Catholic Church in Tianjin. November 10, 2013.
(Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon)
The damage done to the three-storey Church building reportedly amounts to around CNY3 million (US$460,000).

Chinese authorities have destroyed more than 2,000 Churches in the Zhejiang province in the last two years. In March 2016 alone, they have taken down at least 50 crosses in Wenzhou.

Authorities say the cross removal is part of the government's "Three Rectifications and One Demolition" campaign. To justify the demolitions, they say the buildings and crosses were constructed illegally.

In a February interview with The Christian Post, China Aid President Bob Fu said the cross-removal campaign is among the Communist Party's strategies to address its concerns about the growing population of Christians in China.

"The top leadership is increasingly worried about the rapid growth of Christian faith and their public presence, and their social influence," said Fu in the interview. "It is a political fear for the Communist Party, as the number of Christians in the country far outnumber the members of the party."

Some of the Christians who protested the Church demolitions and cross-removal campaigns were arrested. There was also the case of the pastor's wife, Ding Cuimei, whose opposition to the forced demolition of the Beitou Church had her ending up dead. A demolition crew buried her alive after she and her husband tried to fight off the team tasked to destroy their Church in Zhumadian, Henan province.

Fu blasted Chinese authorities and those responsible for Ding's death. He said the case involved a grave violation of the rights of life, rule of law, and religious freedom. He also called on the authorities to step up and protect the Church members' religious liberty and make sure that those who killed Ding will be held accountable for their crime.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985