07/19/2007, 00.00
CHINA
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The government will demolish three domestic Churches, they have too many faithful

The local government of Zhejiang has ordered the demolition of three famous domestic mountain Churches familiar refuge for hundreds of faithful. They were a nuisance because they were far better attended than the official associations. Reverend Fu appeals to Beijing to stop “such acts of vandalism”.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The local government wants to demolish three famous domestic protestant Churches in the county of Yongjia, Wenzhou city in Zhejiang, China Aid Association reports. The churches were built about 10 years ago on three different mountains in the area and have since become an important reference point.  Each month an average 800 Christians visit each of the churches.

Authorities say that these faithful belong to “evil cults” and have ordered the buildings destroyed within a month.  In reality – observes Caa – the three churches have a far greater number of followers in the area than those recognised by the State.

The CAA also discovered that most of the local house church leaders have been threatened with arrest to prevent them from blocking the planned demolitions. China often demolishes famous domestic churches, where Protestants gather to pray outside the strictures of the recognised state organisations.  In Yongjia county alone 11 have been occupied or destroyed between 1997 and 2003.

Reverend Bob Fu, founder of Caa, says that “To destroy church buildings used for prayer is very deplorable. We urge the Chinese central government to help stop this type of barbaric acts by the local government”.

 

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