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Chinese Police Dynamite Christian Megachurch

Chinese Police Dynamite Christian Megachurch”

Most recently, a chinese church was demolished by government authorities.

Photo The authorities used dynamite and heavy machinery to raze the Protestant megachurch.

The government had no logic of smashing the Golden Lampstand chapel since it was constructed in 2008 costing 17m yuan said a female head priest Yang Rongli.

Officially, Chinese citizens are free to practice the religion of their choice, but the government tightly controls spiritual life, and in some cases bans certain groups, like Falun Gong.

Christian persecution has been steadily increasing in China.

'ChinaAid calls on the worldwide 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'. Muslims groups, especially in the far flung province of Xinjiang have also been targeted.

It is not Golden Lampstand's first clash with officials.

The 50,000 strong church was originally built with 17 million Yuan (around $2.5 million) of congregation contributions.

Religious groups must register with local religious affairs authorities under Chinese law, the report said, adding the church was illegally constructed almost a decade ago in violation of building codes.

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.

"It also could be a prelude to enforcing the new regulation on religious affairs that will take effect in February", he added.

As the church was being built on September 24, 2009, church members who slept at the construction site were awakened by 400 officials and beaten as the building was razed. Patrol wagons guarded the church. "At this point, excavators are digging into the church, but we are not allowed to enter or watch", she said. In late December, local officials tore down a Catholic church that was built in 1999 in a small village in Shaanxi without giving a reason for the demolition.

She told a ChinaAid reporter: "The police surrounded the Golden Lampstand Church. Now, we really have no idea what is going to happen".

While Golden Lampstand Church belongs to China's large number of "house churches" that are not registered with the Chinese regime and are therefore completely exposed to any sort of crackdown on religion, even the state-sanctioned "Three-Self Churches" are not exempt from the regime's persecution.



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