Skip to comments.Christians in China Fear Persecution Will Get Worse After Authorities Bomb Evangelical Megachurch
Posted on 01/15/2018 6:29:38 AM PST by SeekAndFind
An evangelical megachurch was destroyed by Chinese Communist authorities Tuesday in the country's northern Shanxi province, sparking fears among Christians that the persecution they suffer will soon get worse.
China Aid said in an update Wednesday that Chinese military police detonated explosives inside Golden Lampstand Church in Linfen, destroying the $2.6 million house of worship, which was owned by the Christians who worshiped there.
A demolition crew broke apart the remaining pieces of the church after the explosion with diggers and jackhammers.
Lampstand's head Pastor, Yang Rongli, had previously spent seven years in prison on charges of assembling a large crowd to disturb traffic order, and has been under police surveillance since his release in October 2016.
Describing the demolition, the pastor was quoted as saying that at first, police surrounded the church.
"Patrol wagons guarded the church. Workers smashed the church's glass. At this point, excavators are digging into the church, but we are not allowed to enter or watch," she said.
"The village head and the police from the local police station warned all the believers against entering the church. Now, we really have no idea what is going to happen."
The order to demolish the church reportedly came from China's top officials, who control the military police.
"The repeated persecution of Golden Lampstand Church demonstrates that the Chinese government has no respect for religious freedom or human rights," said ChinaAid President and founder Bob Fu.
"ChinaAid calls on the international community to openly condemn the bombing of this church building and urge the Chinese government to fairly compensate the Christians who paid for it and immediately cease these alarming demolitions of churches."
The Guardian reports that a Catholic church in the neighboring province of Shaanxi was also demolished in a similar fashion last month, which is stoking fears among Christians that the widespread crackdown on churches continues in full force.
As many as 1,200 crosses have been removed from churches in Zhejiang province since 2015, with officials arguing that many of the demolitions have been down to building code violations.
A local pastor, who asked not to be named, said that he saw "more police than I could count" at the site, preventing worshipers from approaching.
"My heart was sad to see this demolition and now I worry about more churches being demolished, even my own," he said. "This church was built in 2008, there's no reason for them to destroy it now."
The Associated Press noted that the evangelical megachurch had a congregation of 50,000, and had been targeted by police on a number of occasions. Officials reportedly hired thugs to smash the church and take its Bible during the crackdown in 2009, when Rongli was arrested.
Christians have protested against church demolitions, with a video captured in Shanxi in August showing a clash between Catholics and government representatives who were using bulldozers to destroy church property.
The believers in the video could be heard shouting "Jesus save me!" and "Mother Mary, have pity on us," and successfully blocked the government's efforts.
A video of the demolition of Golden Lampstand Church has also been captured, and can be viewed below:
Guess they didn’t get Putin’s “Mao is like Jesus” memo.
The Lord is watching. I wouldn’t want to be these people at the judgment seat.
I suspect that this persecution will only make Christianity stronger in China.
So the government can try to blow up alternative ideologies as in this case and they can still use Communist redistribution as a tactic to manage peasant farmers in the rural areas, but they are never getting the genie of capitalism back in the bottle. China's very large middle class has already learned to think for itself, and the remaining old Maoists are doomed to die off.
It’s just a building.
You can’t demolish faith.
The “church” will grow faster now.
At least when the church was standing, authorities new who the believers were. Now they’ve driven them underground where they can’t control the content of the service e.g. sermons.
This is a good thing.
Let me guess, China is on the UN’s human rights council.
Sounds like a return to the days of the Boxer Rebellion.
“You’ll find more Communists at UC Berkeley than in all of Shanghai.”......
There are numerous “communist enclaves” throughout the U.S., not only in “SF”. We have one right here in the Univ. of Wisconsin in Madison, WI
I don’t know if you have accurately judged the average Chinese mindset.
They are not objecting to their government.
We are selling everything in the world, to them.
They are not opposed to that, at all. If they object to something, it might just be us.
Don’t give away more of the world to China.
It is time for America to compete. For real.
Its just a building. You cant demolish faith.
The authorities have successfully moved 50,000 believers out of the salt-shaker and into the world to spread their faith.
Nothing better to reignite true faith than persecution.
I have no issue with any Nation deciding which religions they accept, and which ones they don’t.
The latter does not sounds very evangelical, while the demolition sounds of the devil.
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