Officials demolished a Chinese Christian church building in Anhui province last Friday, interrupting the members in the middle of a worship service. Authorities also detained the church’s pastors, Geng Yimin and Sun Yongyao.
“This is yet another clear example showing the escalation of religious persecution today by the Chinese Communist regime,” said Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid. “The total disregard of religious freedom’s protection as enshrined in the Communist Party’s own Constitution tells the whole world President Xi is determined to continue his war against the peaceful Christian faithful. This campaign will surely fail in the end.”
Increasing Pressure on the Chinese Christian Church
The church building that was destroyed seated 3,000 people and, according to ChinaAid, was government-approved. Officials did not produce any paperwork ordering the demolition of the building, although they did have detention notices for the pastors, who were suspected of “gathering a crowd to disturb social order.”
Such attacks on religion in China are not isolated incidents. Last week, a report surfaced that Chinese authorities had demolished the True Jesus Church in Henan province in July. When members refused to surrender their building so the government could convert it into a nursing home, 1,000 government employees showed up at the church at 3 a.m on July 26th. The employees then forcibly removed congregants who were guarding the church throughout the night, injuring two elderly church members in the process. After searching the church and removing a few items, authorities began demolishing the building.
The government’s other recent attacks on Christians and people of other faiths include the censorship of Chinese textbooks, the sinicization of the Bible, and the persecution of churches such as Early Rain. And this is not even to mention the gross human rights abuses the government is committing against the Uighar people.