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    China Blows Up Christian Megachurch

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    Chinese authorities have blown up a Christian church on January 9, 2018. Police from the inland province of Shanxi detonated dynamites and used heavy machinery to demolish the church which they claimed was illegally constructed.

    “The repeated persecution of Golden Lampstand Church demonstrates that the Chinese government has no respect for religious freedom or human rights,” said Bob Fu, the group’s founder.

    Members of the Golden Lampstand Church had no choice but to watch their church being destroyed. The church is home to over 50,000 worshippers. An unidentified police officer said the church was built without the necessary permits.

    This is not the first time the Golden Lampstand Church was targeted by the Chinese government. In 2009, police confiscated the Bibles of the church’s members and imprisoned its leaders.

    “The repeated persecution of Golden Lampstand Church demonstrates that the Chinese government has no respect for religious freedom or human rights,” said Bob Fu, the group’s founder.

    ChinaAid, a US-based Christian advocacy group, said the megachurch was built with nearly $3 million in donations from local Christians. The construction, however, was not registered with the government.

    Meantime, in December 2017, authorities destroyed a Catholic church in the western city of Xi’an and closed down a Protestant church in the northwestern Xinjiang region, according to Radio Fee Asia.

    The parish priest and other church leaders of the demolished church argued that it was built in 1999. They also showed documents proving that the construction of the building was legal and permanent.

    Chinese officials also sealed the doors of the Qingshuihe church in Xinjiang’s Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture at the end of December. Members lamented that they had no safe place to pray and worship.

    China has been declaring that citizens are free to practice any faith. However, the government’s actions against Christians run contrary to its claim of being religiously tolerant.

    Sources:
    Straits Times
    Radio Free Asia

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