Donghu Church destroyed

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Donghu Church
(Photo: ChinaAid)

(Xining, Qinghai—April 15, 2020) Chinese officials demolished a government-run church on Easter Sunday after persecuting it for a long period of time.

Donghu Church, located in Xining, Qinghai province, could host up to 300 people at once and was one of the largest churches in the area.

The church was registered as a Three-Self, or state-run, church in 2003. In China, all religious institutions must, by law, register with the government and submit to its censorship and oversight.

However, on Dec. 19, 2017, the local fire department attempted to close the church on the premise that it posed a potential danger. At the end of last year, the authorities again said the building didn’t meet fire protection requirements. The Chinese government often uses such claims to force religious organizations to close.

Over the past few years, officials made several attempts to close the church but failed to follow through when the attendees protested. On the morning of April 12, the Chengxi District Urban Construction Bureau spent about two hours tearing the church down. Li Zhennan, the director of the local religious affairs bureau, and Wang Xiao, secretary of the Xining Municipal Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, oversaw the project.

Online, many people said the government should suffer for their actions. Some Christians encouraged themselves by saying the government could destroy the building but could never destroy the faith in their hearts.

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