The Chaocheng Church was built in the early years of the Republic of China. According to the authorities, the church lacks the necessary certificates. Local Catholics have moved into the last building to prevent its demolition with banners and sacred hymns against government officials.
Liaocheng (AsiaNews) – Government authorities in the city of Liaocheng (Shandong province) demolished several buildings that date back to 1930, officially because they lacked the necessary certificates. The structures belonged to the Catholic parish of Chaocheng.
Church members did not stand idly by but moved into the remaining building to prevent its demolition (see video by ChinaAid).
The forced demolition took place on 11 November when local officials came with a demolition team without prior notice. Catholics protested at government offices but did not get any answers.
Peacefully, Church members hung a banner on the machinery used in the demolition. It read: “Vehicle of illegal demolition, Come one detain one, Never back down”.
A female church member raised the cross at the site. She and several other church members sang hymns.
Other banners were hung as well. One said “Safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the church. Resist illegal demolitions resolutely.” Another quoted from the Beatitudes: “Blessed are they who are persecuted . . .".
The Catholic Church in Chaocheng is located on the western side of Chaocheng South Street. It was built in the early years of the Republic of China and covers an area of 40 acres.
The building was built in Chinese style. Originally it was a monastery, home to the Sisters of Our Lady of China. It was one of the four major female monasteries in the province.
Since the beginning of this year, at least three Catholic buildings have been demolished in Jinan (Shandong). The one in Chaocheng is the fourth in the province.