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China church demolished and Christians silenced

East Asia

China church demolished and Christians silenced

Screen grab of footage of the demolition of Golden Lampstand Church in Linfen city in northern Shanxi Province, Jan. 9, 2018.
Photo credit: Radio Free Asia, from a photo supplied by a church member.

Another church in Shaanxi Province has been demolished, while authorities have pressured Christians to remain silent about it. Local officials in Linfen city demolished the church on Tuesday 9 January.

 

The Golden Lampstand Church was surrounded by officials who thwarted the efforts of the Christians to prevent its destruction, while it was flattened by bulldozers and cranes.

According to ChinaAid, a Christian human rights organization, the Golden Lampstand Church has been under repeated government pressure since it was built in 2009.

Some of the “Church’s leaders have been imprisoned for one to seven years, simply for serving at their church,” stated the charity, and in September 2009, church members who slept at the construction site were beaten by almost 400 officials.

Ren Quanniu, a lawyer who works on religious repression cases, said that Church members often have no means to seek legal redress when their churches are demolished.

“This is not a matter of demolition alone, but also involves a number of political and religious issues,” he explained, which are “more sensitive” in China.

Two weeks earlier, Shaanxi province was the scene of another church demolition on 27 December 2017 in Zhifang village, prompting protests from the local Christians.