NEWS ALERT: Tense Stand-Off Between Christians And Chinese Security Forces Reported

Friday, July 10, 2009

By Worthy News Asia Service

Chinese Christians protesting in front of their church against planned destruction. Via CAA

BEIJING, CHINA (Worthy News) -- A tense stand-off continued Friday, July 10, in China's Shandong Province between Chinese security forces and Christians who have tried to prevent the destruction of their church building,  representatives said.

Hundreds of Christians have moved into the Changchunli Church building in the province's main Jinan municipality, "guarding it day and night," advocacy group China Aid Association (CAA) told Worthy News and its partner agency BosNewsLife.

The believers managed to get back into the complex after over 100 police officers forced the congregation to leave the church on June 14 and worship in front of the building, witnesses said.

Security forces were also seen nearby. CAA said government officials, "working together with government-sanctioned religious organizations," made agreements with real estate developers to take over the church land "for financial profit."


The Changchunli Church said in statements it was surprised about the plan as it is a legally-registered church.

British Christians reportedly bought two lots of land for the church in 1934, however three decades later it was confiscated by the state, according to records.

In 1983 the church received back its property rights, but amid a booming economy real estate developers have become increasingly aggressive in obtaining land from authorities, Christians suggested.

Christians of the church urged believers around the world to pray for them and help prevent the destruction, CAA said.

China's Communist government has been accused of cracking down on popular churches in the country, amid concerns among officials about the spread of Christianity. The government has denied wrongdoing.