Anhui government issues demolition notice for church after approving building site

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

This photo, from Yongguang House Church, shows the new
church building. The church is currently using the first floor for
their activities. (Photo: Yongguang House Church)
China Aid
By Rachel Ritchie

(Lu’an, Anhui–March 31, 2015) While still under construction, the Huoqiu County Economic Development Zone Committee in China’s eastern Anhui province issued a notice in mid-March, stating that Yongguang House Church must voluntarily demolish their church building.

Yongguang House Church began construction of the new building after it reached a verbal agreement with the local development committee in February 2014. The agreement stated that the church would to vacate their building in order for the government to extend a nearby highway. The conditions of the agreement included the church being allowed to choose a new building site with the government's cooperation.

“The head of Fengjing town, Fengjing’s Party secretary, the head of the economic development committee and the director of the public security bureau all came to see the land we chose as the new site for our church building and agreed to let us build there,” said Pastor Li Liya of Yongguang House Church.

The demolition notice, claiming the building is an illegal structure, arrived on March 17, two weeks after the church held an opening ceremony to celebrate the completion and use of the building’s first floor.

China Aid contacted the leader of Fengjing after efforts to contact the county’s religious affairs bureau were unsuccessful, but Cai refused to answer any questions.

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