New churches built to destroy even more

Forced demolitions: an attempt on man and culture
Dramatic account of a church destroyed in Zhejiang

The following report is an eyewitness account of a "passion": a minute by minute dramatic telling of the destruction of the Tudusha evangelical community church. Its destruction is yet another sign of Beijing's unreasonable polices on religious worship, which permit believers to gather only in state-approved locales. What is most striking about the story is that there were policemen, drivers, and people passing all openly against the government order. It is also striking that those who reported the activities of the underground church were "leaders of the Three-Self Churches", that is, of the state-recognized Protestant churches. Often these leaders are members of the Patriotic Association, in other words, atheist members of the church who are sent by the Communist Party to cause division within the community.

The report comes from the Jan. 2004 issue of The voice of the Martyrs, a monthly published by evangelical Christians in Canada, who also have video footage of the violent episode. The delay in which such accounts are made public is due to the fact that destroying churches has now become a "state secret", news forbidden to release abroad.

Therefore much time has passed before the news could be reported outside of China. Meanwhile in Zhejiang two Protestants, Liu Fenggang and Xu Yonghai, have been imprisoned for releasing information about churches destroyed in this region. According to the Hong Kong Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy at least 10 house churches have been destroyed by police units in Zhejiang since July 2003, bringing the total now to 392 churches and temples destroyed or reused as "entertainment centers".

The photo used in the article is from live footage as the church is being knocked down. - BC