Henan’s authorities raided numerous churches in Yongcheng city, tearing down and burning religious paraphernalia and illegally confiscating money.
On August 27, a Dingxinzhuang village church in Yongcheng was sealed off, and its cross was demolished. Later that day, five government personnel, including an official from the local United Front Work Department, stormed into the church. They then proceeded to tear apart all religious paraphernalia, including crosses, Jesus portraits and religious paintings from the walls and then, put fire to it all. After that, the church leader was ordered to remove tables, chairs, and other furnishings from the church.
The officials also forced the leader to hand over 30,000 RMB or 4,300 USD of church’s funds, claiming that the government must centrally administer church money.
A couple of weeks before the events in Dingxinzhuang, eight officials stormed into in a Gaoyulou village church in Chengxiang town and ordered the congregating believers to disperse. They were prohibited from meeting there again and warned that they could be fined from 30,000 to 50,000 RMB if they violated the order.
Again, the officials tore down the church’s cross as well as portraits and religious couplets from the walls and burnt them. The director of the local United Front Work Department confiscated over 10,000 RMB (about 1,500 USD) of the church’s funds.
The same day, a government-controlled Protestant Three-Self church in Zhangliyuan village of Jiangkou town was similarly sealed off and its funds confiscated. It was later converted into a factory and rented out.
Reported by Jiang Tao