China Plans Destruction Of House Church, Group Says

Monday, December 4, 2006

By BosNewsLife News Center

BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife) -- Christians in China's Zhejiand faced a tense Sunday, December 3, amid reports that local authorities want to destroy a house church in the province.

China Aid Association (CAA), a major advocacy group, said the house church in Yangjianong Village of Qixian Town in Shaoxing County "received notification from the local government to vacate the church building before" Monday, December 4. The scheduled destruction comes a few months after the Dalin Church in the same region was destroyed by security forces on August 21, the group recalled.

The house church building, where about 200 Christians worship, was originally a workshop, and bought by the church in 2001. "Recently the local government declared that the church be demolished to make room for a park, but refused to arrange a new location for the church," CAA said.


Christian rights groups have linked these kind of incidents to anger among local Communist officials about the spread of Christianity outside the established, government backed denominations. Most of China's estimated 80 million Christians worship within house churches, according to estimates.

China has denied wrongdoing, saying it follows either the law or cracks down on what it describes as "cults" or "sects." CAA said that lawyers are trying to prevent the latest planned destruction.

"This is religious persecution typically disguised in recent years as a non-religious case in China." said Bob Fu, president of CAA in a statement to BosNewsLife. "Under international pressure, the government now intends to choose another governmental department to deal with religious affairs rather than the Religious Affairs Department," he said. (With reports from China).

Copyright 2006 BosNewsLife. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without our prior written consent.