China Security Forces and Peasants Destroy House Church, Group Says

Friday, November 3, 2006

By BosNewsLife News Center

BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife) -- A group of Chinese Christians faced a difficult period Thursday, November 2, after their house church building located in the campus of Changchun Agricultural University in the suburb of Changchun city, Jilin province was reportedly demolished forcibly by local authorities.

"It is known that the building served as the gathering place for Nongda house church, at other times it was used as the 'Morning Star Supermarket', " said China Aid Association, a US-based religious rights groups which has close contacts with Chinese house churches.

CAA quoted witnesses as saying that the government sent 500 policemen and several hundred peasant workers to the site early October, 26, and "drove the people out of the building while they were sleeping." Within an hour, the main part of the building as well as the furniture in it "became piles of debris. In the entire process, no explanation was given...," CAA claimed. Chinese officials have not reacted to the claims, but China's government in general has denied human rights abuses.

The 10-year old Nongda house church served Christians from the nearby countryside and was well-known in the region. Despite reported attacks and threats, the church refused to affiliated itself with the Communist government backed Three-Self-Church, or register with authorities on what they see as Biblical grounds.


"Who can imagine that within an hour's time, the main part of their church building was bulldozed under the pretext of 'urban appearance rearrangement? Only a two-story building was left," CAA said in a statement to BosNewsLife, adding that Christians of the church had asked for prayers.

The organization said it has urged the Changchun government to give an explanation account to Nongda house church "and arrange a place for a new building, in order not to bring shame on the ancient city of Changchun." It was unclear Thursday November 2 if and when officials would provide another accommodation.

There are about 80 million Christians in China, most of them worshipping in the unofficial and often 'underground' house churches, religious groups say. The Communist Party of China has been reluctant to openly allow unrestricted growth of house churches amid fears they could challenge its ideology and power structure, analysts say. (With reports from China).

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