Zhejiang house churches order to stop gathering, 10 more cross demolitions (Wenzhou, Zhejiang—May 22, 2014) Authorities in China’s coastal Zhejiang province ordered Wenzhou-area house churches to stop gathering on Sunday; meanwhile, more than 10 additional church buildings have been demolished or had their cross demolished.
Local Christians also told China Aid that pastors in the area have been threatened with financial measures should they attempt to defend their church’s building.
China Aid published a report this week, listing 64 churches that had been demolished, had crosses removed, demolished or covered, or received demolition notices. Events in the compilation occurred both before and after the demolition of Sanjiang Church’s building. After the April 28 demolition of the imposing, 30 million yuan (US $4.8 million) Sanjiang Church building, authorities have turned their attention to local, low-profile house churches, threatening them to quit gathering (see http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/05/china-aid-receives-compilation-of-64.html, http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/04/zhejiang-christians-fear-sanjiang.html and http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/05/more-zhejiang-churches-report-threats.html).
“There is a church building that also houses a grocery market about 1/3 miles from my home,” a house church worshipper from Yueqing County in Wenzhou said. “The people were notified to implement an order that all gatherings shall stop from this Sunday. If people there don’t stop their gatherings, the building…will be confiscated.”
It appears the “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” campaign isn’t slowing down; authorities demolished 10 more crosses topping Wenzhou-area churches.
“Some [of the demolished crosses] were demolished by the authorities and some were demolished by the people of the churches themselves,” said Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, president of the Chinese House Church Alliance.
Local believers said that some of the demolished crosses didn’t violate planning codes and there may be more churches affected. “As for the specific number of churches and crosses that have been demolished, I don’t know it clearly,” one Christian said. “In…places where they don’t have a strong force [behind the church], churches are not willing to make [demolitions] public. Many people don’t want to tell us, so we can’t help them.”
read more: http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/05/zhejiang-house-churches-order-to-stop.html?m=1
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon