Chinese government officials have demolished the Golden Lampstand evangelical church, in the country’s northern Shanxi province, causing Christians to fear that their persecution under the Communist regime may only grow worse. According to China Aid, serially persecuted privately owned $2.6 million church building was bombed by the Chinese military police.
A member of the church and witness to the bombing, Yang Rongli, is no stranger to persecution for her faith. In fact, she had been one of several members beaten and jailed by authorities when the church was first being built in 2009. She had been released from prison in October 2016 after serving seven years on charges of assembling a large crowd to disturb traffic order, and has been under police surveillance ever since.
In her description of the church bombing, Yang Rongli said, “Patrol wagons guarded the church. Workers smashed the church’s glass. At this point, excavators are digging into the church, but we are not allowed to enter or watch.”
“The village head and the police from the local police station warned all the believers against entering the church. Now, we really have no idea what is going to happen.”
The fact that the demolition was conducted by military police indicates that their orders came from top government officials. ChinaAid’s president and founder Bob Fu issued a public statement after the bombing regarding the Chinese government’s utter lack of “respect for religious freedom or human rights.”
“ChinaAid calls on the international community to openly condemn the bombing of this church building and urge the Chinese government to fairly compensate the Christians who paid for it and immediately cease these alarming demolitions of churches.”
A similar act of destruction upon a Catholic church in the neighboring province of Shaanxi has ignited fear among Christians that the draconian assaults on churches will grow worse and more frequent.
China ranks 43 on the Open Doors World Watch List of Top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted most