Authorities in Jiangxi Province mobilized over 200 people to destroy an ancestral shrine, wounding a dozen of protesting villagers in the process.
In early July, authorities in Duchang county of Jiujiang city in Jiangxi mobilized more than 200 officers and officials and forcibly demolished an ancestral shrine in Changlong village, injuring 12 villagers, four of them needed to be hospitalized.
That day, the police forcibly took away an 83-year-old believer guarding the ancestral shrine and violently beat other villagers. Some of them lost consciousness as a result of beatings, one villager had four of his ribs broken, and another needed stitches after officers struck him with a brick.
A few villagers managed to record the activities surrounding the shrine, and the police forcibly snatched their phones. Some officers later changed into civilian clothing to deceive the public.
The demolished shrine covered an area of more than 100 square meters. In 2017, local government officials destroyed the original ancestral shrine because it was “too old and ugly,” and promised to build a new one. However, this never happened, and villagers started rebuilding the shrine themselves.
Villagers reported the demolition of the newly-built shrine and police atrocities to the municipal government and later to the central government in Beijing, but were ignored in both instances.
In China, ancestral shrines are family temples that record the glory and traditions of a family clan and are considered sacred and inviolable. However, during the Cultural Revolution, these ancestral shrines were extensively destroyed. Now, with the increasing persecution of religious beliefs following the implementation of the new Regulations on Religious Affairs, they once again face demolition.
Reported by Lin Yijiang
Authorities violently demolished an ancestral shrine in Changlong village, causing multiple injuries: