Hired criminals recently razed a temple in Hubei to the ground, even though it had all government permits in place.
On April 14, the municipal government of Danjiangkou city in Hubei assembled personnel from the Public Security Bureau, Religious Affairs Bureau and other related departments for a temple demolition.
The temple in question was the Changling Temple, originally built during the reign of one of the major royal dynasties of China, Song Dynasty. It had been rebuilt last year in June by an abbot, Zhou Hongmei. Even though the new temple did not compare with the antiquity of the original one, thousands of Chinese continued to make a pilgrimage to the temple. The crowds often gathered in large numbers on New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year’s Day as well.
The temple is, however, located in the mountains. Which is why, when the authorities tried to bring in an excavator to demolish it, the vehicle was unable to make its way to the temple due to narrow roads.
That didn’t deter CCP officials as two days later; the public security bureau hired over a dozen criminals for the job. The Party could not send in armed personnel of its own to avoid being petitioned by locals or believers in courts. Despite the illegality of its actions, it is essential for the Party to maintain a clean image.
The hired men smashed all of the temple’s glazed roof tiles and destroyed doors, windows, and walls. Abbot Zhou was upset to see the temple being demolished despite having done everything legally and working hard at it.
According to sources, the temple was completely legal. Before the rebuilding, permits from more than a dozen departments had been duly obtained. Some of those departments included the municipal bureau of religious affairs, United Front Work Department and the town administration.
Reported by Shen Xiang
Shen Xiang (uses pseudonyms for security reasons) was born in Hunan Province and is now 35 years old. She is an independent journalist. Ever since childhood, Shen Xiang has had a passion for writing. After graduating from high school, Shen Xiang started writing novels, and her works have been serialized in local literary journals and received critical acclaim. Shen Xiang began writing a commentary column in 2012. In 2017, affected by the Liu Xiaobo incident, She became dedicated to writing various news reports on human rights issues in China. In June 2018, Shen Xiang joined Bitter Winter and became a special correspondent of Bitter Winter covering Hunan Province and other regions in China.