Chinese officials demolish evangelical megachurch
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 1/11/18, 10:59 am
Chinese officials this week demolished the well-known Golden Lampstand Church in the northern province of Shanxi amid a continued crackdown on unregistered congregations. Chinese military police on Tuesday detonated explosives placed inside the church’s underground worship halls and demolished the rest of the building above ground, according to U.S.-based China Aid. Photos from the scene show the church’s steeple lying on the ground amid the rubble. Yang Rongli, a relative of the church’s founders, told China Aid that police and patrol wagons surrounded the church. “The village head and the police from the local police station warned all the believers against entering the church,” Yang said. Christians at the Golden Lampstand Church contributed nearly $3 million to build the church, which drew more than 50,000 worshippers. In 2009, hundreds of police officials and hired thugs razed the church and courts sentenced church leaders to prison for one to seven years. China recently resumed its crackdown on the increasing number of unregistered churches, viewing them as a threat to the Communist regime. On Dec. 27, officials in the same province also demolished a Catholic church.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.