Chinese Government demolishes church in China after all, and, the Communist party plans to demolish another 10 places of worship

Forced Demolition of Sanjiang Church – Photo credit pbs.com

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There are such eerie similarities in the way communist countries go about trying to stamp out religion. I grew up in communist Romania, where building permits were revoked for being several inches bigger than the measurements on the building permit application and churches were forced to tear down additions. Or, churches that were too small to accommodate their folks were routinely denied permits to enlarge their building of worship.

No doubt, that the fact that it has been reported recently that we will see China become the world’s largest Christian nation by 2025. … the true figure is closer to 80 million since most Christianare forced to 

The Telegraph, a UK newspaper reports:

A top Communist Party official hits back at predictions highlighted by the Telegraph that an explosion in the number of churchgoers will see China become the world’s largest Christian nation by 2025.

In a recent interview with the paper, Fenggang Yang, a leading expert on religion in China, said the number of Chinese Protestants could swell to around 160 million by 2025 with the total number of Christians exceeding 247 million by 2030. That would see China move ahead of Mexico, Brazil and the United States as the world’s biggest Christian community.

However, the prediction appears to have gone down badly in Communist Party circles, with many senior leaders fearing the impact an increasingly powerful church could have on their ability to stay in power.

…and in true communist form, there is always the fear of one having allegiance to something other than the state:

In an interview published in 2009, Mr Ye insisted China had abandoned a 25-year battle to “shrink religion”. However, “religion continues to concern us” because of fears it could be used to “overthrow” the Party, he admitted.

Activists believe officials in the wealthy eastern province of Zhejiang are currently waging a “demolition campaign” against local churches they believed were growing too fast.

Photo credit www.telegraph.co.uk

Huffington Post reports :

Fears of an impending crackdown on Christians are sweeping China as the demolition begins of a controversial Wenzhou church that worshippers had earlier formed a human shield in order to protect.

Earlier this month, distraught members of the 1,000-strong congregation in the city of Sanjiang formed a protective circle around the church last month in a last ditch attempt to protect it from the bulldozers, but withdrew after a negotiations with the government appeared to have been successful.

But the deal appears to have collapsed in recent days, and photos on social media on Monday appear to show demolition teams have swiftly moved in to begin work on the lavish building, tearing down sections of its exterior walls. The site is now heavily guarded by military trucks and police vans.

Though the Chinese authorities may say this is a dispute over practicalities, the Telegraph reported there are now Communist Party plans to at least partially demolish at least 10 other places of worship.

Bob Fu, a US-based Christian activist, told the paper: “This government-orchestrated barbaric forced demolition represents a serious escalation against religious freedom in Zhejiang. The Chinese regime chooses to disregard its own laws and the will of its best citizens.”

Fu, president of the Texas-based group China Aid, said it could lead to a renewed interest in Christianity in China, as a method of resistance. “History has proved and will prove again with this case that another church revival will happen after this new wave of persecution,” he said.

The China Christian Council estimates the country has around 20 million Christians, not including Catholics — 70% of them living in rural areas. Many more could be worshipping as part of underground movements.

Read the entire article at the Huffington Post.

The church, just weeks before the demolition, via The Telegraph-

 

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