Prayer Center Complex Destroyed by Chinese Government

Friday, September 3, 2010

By George Whitten, Worthy News International Correspondent

Chinese Believers sit outside amidst rubble and salvaged belongings. Photo provided by ChinaAid.
ZHEJIANG, CHINA (Worthy News)-- A prayer center complex, known as "Prayer Mountain", was destroyed in China after several elderly Christians were forcibly removed, and then watched helplessly as their building was demolished according to ChinaAid, Worthy News has learned.

Several hundred men led by Chinese police officials removed about twenty elderly Christians from the building. After their removal, the church was destroyed as they futilely watched the destruction of their complex.

Known as “Prayer Mountain,” the complex was owned by the Taishan Christian House Church (located in Qinggang District, Yuhuan county, Taizhou City, Zhejiang province), according to China Aid.

The multi-purpose church complex after destruction. Photo provided by ChinaAid.

This is the latest incident of persecution against house churches in China. According to ChinaAid, at least three house churches were shut down in early August. The house churches were part of the China Gospel Fellowship (CGF), one of the leading house church networks in China, with an estimated 5-7 million members.

The churches were forced to close down by the Chinese government because church leaders were invited to attend the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in October 2010 at Cape Town, South Africa, according to ChinaAid.

Sources told ChinaAid that the Chinese Public Security Bureau obtained a list of 200 Chinese invitees to the convention and threatened some of them not to attend, but CGF leaders refused to back down.

"In August we have seen an increase in persecution that is alarming and unjustifiable," ChinaAid President Bob Fu told Worthy News. "We condemn the destruction of the Prayer Mountain church complex, and urge local authorities to cease their threats against the China Gospel Fellowship to prevent them from exercising their religious freedoms."

The persecution of Christians in China come amid concerns among Communist Party officials about the spread of Christianity in China, Worthy News established. Some officials recently suggested there are about 130-million Christians in China, 50-million more than previous estimates. Most of them are believed to worship in the 'underground' house churches as they do not want to gather in the Communist approved denominations.