- The regime of Xi Jinping blew up the structure with explosives and bulldozed the building
- According to the authorities of the country, the church was not registered nor had permits. It is the second attack on Christian temples in less than a month
The Christian temple of the Evangelical Lamp Church in the city of Linfen, Shanxi Province, has been shot down this week by Chinese authorities as a result of long tensions between religious groups and the ruling Communist Party , officially atheist.
It is the second demolition of a Christian church in a month in this country, which threatens to continue carrying out these measures of pressure to apply the new laws of religion approved last year, as reported by InfoBae .
To carry out the operation, the paramilitary forces of the Popular Armed Police used bulldozers and dynamite .
Authorities placed explosives in an underground chapel to tear down the building , according to ChinaAir, a Christian activist group based in the United States.
The congregation, which has more than 50,000 members , has clashed for years with the government. Hundreds of police and contracted personnel destroyed the building and confiscated Bibles in another incident in 2009 that ended with long prison terms for the leaders of this evangelical church. Then these leaders of the group were accused of illegally occupying agricultural land and disrupting traffic when they met, according to state media.
It is estimated that there are some 97 million Christians in China, many of whom are concentrated around independent congregations such as the Golden Lamp. The growing popularity of churches not approved by the state has provoked discontent among local authorities, who fear any threat to the party’s rigid social and political control.
In theory, the Chinese constitution guarantees religious freedom, so that local authorities often use technicalities to attack churches that have not registered.
The state-run newspaper Global Times , which quoted an unnamed local official, said on Wednesday that the official reason for the demolition was that the temple did not have the necessary permits.
Despite pressures and difficulties, Chinese churches continue to grow.But they also do it outside their borders in the large Chinese community displaced to the different countries of the world.
Thus, in nearby countries such as South Korea or the Philippines, Chinese evangelical churches are growing exponentially, as revealed by The Economist in a recent report cited by Evangelical Focus.
This growth of Chinese evangelical Christianity also occurs in Muslim majority countries such as Indonesia or Malaysia.