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Chinese authorities demolish Christian church

14 January 2018, 06:41 | Taylor George

Chinese authorities demolish Christian church

Christians Crackdown In China As Churches Being Destroyed

Witnesses and overseas activists say paramilitary People's Armed Police forces used excavators and dynamite on Tuesday to destroy the Golden Lampstand Church in the city of Linfen, southern Shanxi province.

Christians in China prefer to worship independently in house churches because there are no such restraints.

Dramatic video uploaded online shows the church was totally demolished on January 9, as explosives were detonated.

The group explained that the communist country's notorious military police, which carried out the demolition January 9, has been under the direct control of the central government since the head of the public security bureau was arrested past year.

United States government-backed Radio Free Asia says the church had come under strict monitoring by local authorities.

The government revised laws regulating religious groups previous year for the first time since 2005, increasing control over a places of worship from limiting the construction of statutes outside churches to imposing fines of up to 300,000 yuan (£34,000) for holding "unauthorised religious activities".

In an annual report on freedom of religion, the USA state department found that "the government physically abused, detained, arrested, tortured, sentenced to prison, or harassed adherents of both registered and unregistered religious groups for activities related to their religious beliefs and practices".

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The independent Golden Lampstand Church had long clashed with the Chinese government.

The similar demolition of a Catholic church past year is prompting Christians to worry that the central government will begin ordering the mass destruction of church buildings nationwide as new religious regulations go into effect next month. Chinese authorities are about to implement new law for religions.

He said: "The repeated persecution of Golden Lampstand Church demonstrates that the Chinese government has no respect for religious freedom or human rights". "ChinaAid calls on the global 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 order to demolish the church reportedly came from China's top officials, who control the military police. Thirty of the members were in critical condition.

When Yang "Esther" Xue, the daughter of two of the church's pastors, learned of the beatings, she phoned home, but no one answered. But before hanging up, the church member quickly told RFA, "I'm under house arrest now". Yang Xuan spent three-and-a-half years in prison and Yang Rongli was imprisoned for seven years.

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.

In an earlier crackdown in 2009, squads of the Chinese regime's security goons descended on the church to smash the building and seize bibles from its members, according to ChinaAid. The village head and the police from the local police station warned all the believers against entering the church.



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