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    » 06/20/2014, 00.00

    CHINA

    More Zhejiang churches to be torn down in demolition campaign, christian "ready to fight to the end"



    A Pingyang county pastor said worshippers from at least three of the county's churches had vowed to fight the demolition to the end. In the province, about 360 churches or buildings with crosses affixed on them have been forcibly torn down in the "Three Rectifications and One Demolition" campaign since January.

    Wenzhou (AsiaNews/Agencies) - A dozen more churches in Zhejiang province face destruction today as part of an official demolition campaign against churches labelled as illegal structures. A Pingyang county pastor, who declined to be named, said worshippers from at least three of the county's churches had vowed to fight the demolition to the end.

    "We will definitely guard our churches," he said, adding that the churches had received the demolition notices last Sunday and their deadline had been postponed to today. It was not immediately clear whether the churches were government-approved ones or if they were unauthorised home churches.

    Meanwhile, churches in Pingyang issued a public letter voicing their concerns about the increasingly aggressive campaign to destroy their places of worship. "[The removal of crosses in some churches] has caused deep panic among nearly a hundred thousand believers and swirling rumours in society. It has led to ... unrest," stated the letter, which was circulated online.

    In Zhejiang, about 360 churches or buildings with crosses affixed on them have been forcibly torn down in the "Three Rectifications and One Demolition" campaign since January, according to United States-based religious rights group China Aid.

    The action appears to be a form of religious persecution, but local government officials say the campaign targets only structures that breach building codes.

    A Christian man from Pingyang, who declined to be named, said religious policy had tightened so much since January that churches now could hardly get local governments' approval to extend their structures even if they already had land permits.

     

     

     

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    See also

    23/06/2014 CHINA
    Wenzhou, police threaten Christians who want to protect churches and crosses
    Scheduled for today a silent demonstration outside the offices of the Government of Pingyang County: leaders of all 135 Christian churches of Pingyang (all members of the officially sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement) had confirmed their presence at the event. The authorities have "warned" of the problems that may arise. A Christian leader: "We will take the cross down from the top of our church when the Communist Party takes down its party flag."

    30/07/2015 CHINA
    Unofficial catholic community of Wenzhou speak out against forced demolition of Crosses, whole diocese fasting
    After 90-year-old Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang of Wenzhou led 26 priests of the open Church community to protest against the government’s act to demolish Crosses, Coadjutor Bishop James Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou also led his priests to issue an open statement “Strongly demand a halt to demolish Crosses on all churches.

    07/04/2014 CHINA
    Wenzhou, Christians challenge government to prevent the demolition of their church
    For days, about 3 thousand faithful of the official Protestant Ou Bei community have held a sit-in in front of the newly rebuilt place of worship Sanjiang , which the authorities want to demolish for "security reasons". Government’s decision hides attempt to target congregation of thousands which meets every Sunday and their church which is considered "too high".

    12/05/2016 11:36:00 CHINA
    Protestant pastor who protested cross demolitions is released

    The authorities released Zhang Chongzhu, the official church pastor in Pyongyang in Zhejiang. He sent word outside China about the government's new campaign and invited them to "stand in a circle and watch" as the crosses are demolished in the Chinese province.



    24/03/2016 09:17:00 CHINA
    Zhang Kai, lawyer who defends China’s crosses from demolition, is released

    After appearing on television to "confess his crimes" and spending six months under "house arrest", the lawyer was released. Together with activists for civil liberties, he defended the Christian churches against Zhejiang province authorities.





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