Authorities forcibly removed the cross from a government-controlled Three-Self church in Henan Province, closed it down, and repurposed it for an electronics factory.
On August 30, a group of five officials from the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of Henan Province’s Yucheng county and the local government stormed into a local Protestant Three-Self church, which had a history spanning over 40 years, and ordered the cross to be dismantled. After all the items in the church were cleared out, the sign “Electronics Factory” was put above the church door.
On the afternoon of September 8, a group of 10 local government officials once again arrived at the church, forcibly drove away an elderly believer who was guarding the church, installed a new lock on the door, and prohibited believers from holding gatherings there.
The following afternoon, government officials arranged for two folk artists to go to the church and sing traditional opera, but the church’s believers blocked them. The government then ordered some people to beat gongs and drums and sing opera songs next to the church. A red banner with a slogan “Sweep away dark and evil forces, strengthen grassroots political power” was put outside.
On the morning of September 10, the church’s leader and more than 20 believers took all of the church’s valid permits and went to the local government to implore them to give back the church. With a document in hand, a UFWD official said arrogantly, “This policy comes from above. We have state protection to close down churches. This isn’t the place for you to make a disturbance, leave immediately.” The Christians’ attempt to seek justice was futile. At present, the church is still forcibly occupied by the government.
Reported by Jiang Tao