Bitter Winter received videos depicting the demolition of a Protestant church that belongs to official China’s Three-Self Patriotic Movement.
On June 25, 2018, the Henan provincial government ordered the demolition of a government-controlled Three-Self church in the village of Dahuangye in Gongyi city on the grounds that it was “occupying a planning area intended for the constructing of a tourist site.”
After the church has been demolished, its congregation was forced to disperse and find new places to worship. Some began attending other churches while others started congregating in a cave-dwelling behind the church, but the authorities prohibited even these meetings. “The church has been torn down. If you hold gatherings again, you will be violating the law, and all of you will be arrested,” threatened one of the officials.
According to sources, the demolished Dahuangye village church was the main Three-Self church in Gongyi city. Moreover, the church was also used as the base for the city’s Three-Self Patriotic Movement and the China Christian Council– China’s major government-approved Christian organizations. The demolition of this state-approved church is yet one more proof that the Chinese Communist Party is aiming to eradicate religion in the country entirely.
Video 1: The Three-Self church in Dahuangye village, Gongyi city, while being demolished on June 25
Reported by Jiang Tao
Jiang Tao (uses pseudonyms for security reasons), aged 42, is from Henan Province. He previously served as a magazine editor and has long been concerned about vulnerable groups that are being persecuted in China. He has written a variety of commentaries probing human rights issues in China, and his articles have been published in international journals. After leaving his magazine job in 2015, he started visiting and interviewing persecuted religious groups and other vulnerable groups and gathering information about incidents. He joined Bitter Winter in 2018, and since then is dedicated to reporting the persecution incidents in Henan, Shanghai, Anhui, and other regions.