21 October 2017
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  • » 08/29/2017, 14.40

    CHINA

    Chinese Catholics try to stop the demolition of their church in Changzhi, Shanxi (VIDEO)



    The monumental church is a hundred years old. Ten years ago, the authorities authorised its restoration; now they want to demolish it and replace it with a public square. Catholics turned to praying to get the authorities to respect “the law of the state that protects freedom of religion”. In light of local resistance, the authorities have stopped the demolition.

    Changzhi (AsiaNews) – Tens of Catholics have tried to stop the demolition of their church today in Wangcun, a few kilometres from Changzhi, in south-eastern Shanxi province.

    As shown in videos below, believers shouted "Jesus save me!" and "Mother Mary, have pity on us!" as they tried to hinder the work of the bulldozer and the police.

    In order to stop the demolition, priests and thousands of believers gathered in the rain around the church and the surrounding wall, praying and asking the Lord to "make their heart less hard and act in accordance with the law of the state that protects freedom of religion."

    Previously, the authorities had authorised the restoration of the church, a small jewel dating back to the early 20th century. The restoration work had begun four months ago at considerable cost for the faithful. Now, for reasons of “urban planning”, the authorities changed their mind and decreed the demolition of the monumental building.

    In a bylaw dated 25 August 2012, the authorities had decided to return "Wangcun's old chapel and associated land” to the Catholic Church. But a few weeks ago, the Communist Party District Committee, along with district authorities, decreed the demolition of the entire area, including the walls and the church building. Officially, the reason for this is that "After the demolition, a square will be built to enrich the life of the people”.

    According to the latest report, the authorities stopped the demolition in an attempt to solve the situation.

    In Changzhi, out of a local population of almost 3.5 million, Catholics number more than 50,000, served by 47 priests. The diocese has more than 60 churches and chapels.

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    See also

    02/09/2015 CHINA – HONG KONG
    China and the Cross, a history of miracles that conquer demolitions
    The symbol of the Christian religion appeared in the sky over China many times in past centuries. Official documents held at the Roman College contain the stories of those who saw the bright cross. Given these facts, even if the government takes down the crosses, what prevents them from reappearing?

    02/09/2015 CHINA
    The US calls on Beijing to "immediately" release jailed Christian lawyer and pastors
    Dave Saperstein, American envoy with responsibility on religious freedom, was to meet with religious leaders and activists committed to freedom of worship. The night before a raid was triggered by the authorities: "A particularly alarming development".

    27/01/2015 CHINA
    Zhejiang, Hong Kong journalist arrested for investigating cross demolition
    The woman, Jiang Yannan, was released after a long interrogation: she had been followed and those she interviewed harassed. The authorities have knocked down over 400 Christian crosses in a government campaign of "rectification". Chinese journalists increasingly targeted: still no news of Zhang Miao and Xin Jian.

    21/08/2014 CHINA
    Churches and crosses demolished: lawyers challenge Zhejiang government in defense of religious freedom
    The faithful of the Salvation Church in Pingyang (Wenzhou) were violently harassed by police and thugs in an attempt to defend the cross of their church. Lawyers say this violates the Chinese Constitution. The government of Wenzhou defends itself: only a tiny fraction of the buildings were destroyed churches. But Protestant pastors accuse it of persecution.

    21/01/2012 PAKISTAN
    Lahore, Catholics go to court against the "blasphemous" demolition of their institute
    A woman has filed a complaint against the authorities, for demolition of "Gosha-e-Aman". Among the crimes, the violation of the blasphemy law, for the destruction of copies of the Bible and a church. Archbishop Emeritus: The provincial government is "running out of funds" and is looking for "easy targets to fill the budget deficit."



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