The authorities claimed that a government-controlled Three-Self church in Luoyang city was an “illegal construction.”
On August 27, nearly 50 government officials showed up at the Meng’en church in Henan’s Luoyang city. It was a government-controlled Protestant Three-Self religious site.
The authorities had been harassing the church administration since June. At one point, they even cut off its water and power supply. In another instance, the road leading up to the church was dug up and made uneven.
This time, when the officials showed up at the spot and announced its demolition on the grounds of it being an “illegal construction,” the believers protested the move. They questioned the legality of it, and one of them said, “We got your stamp and fingerprint approval to build this church. It was legally processed. On what grounds are you saying it was constructed illegally?”
An official simply responded that the church had now been marked for demolition by central authorities. That day, the believers guarded the church, and the impasse between the two parties continued until the wee hours of the morning the next day.
Taking advantage of how physically exhausted everyone was, the officials brought in a truck and started the demolition work. When the believers protested again, they were told that only the cross would be brought down. The believers relented at this but were soon betrayed as the truck continued to pull down the church as well.
By the next day, the church was in ruins. Members of the congregation had donated 700,000 RMB (over 100,000 USD) for the construction of the church. One of the devastated believers said, “It’s just too hard to believe in God in China.”
Reported by Jiang Tao
The demolition truck is demolishing the church:
Front loader is destroying the church, while members of the congregation protest: