Source: Direct Reports from China
Date: May 13, 2018
Bitter Winter has recently received evidence confirming that, on December 23, 2014, a house church meeting place was forcibly demolished by the local authorities in Jialou village, Zhangzhai town, Funan county in Anhui province’s Fuyang city, who deployed more than 600 people to complete the task. As of May 2018, the church is still in ruins.
According to evidence we received, at around 10 a.m., more than 600 people including officials from Jialou village, fully-armed police officers, and medical personnel from county and town hospitals, as well as over 200 police cars and private cars arrived at and surrounded the church. Onlookers were moved back over 50 meters away from it. The 328 provincial highway and all rural roads near the church were blockaded and private cars were not allowed to pass. In about one hour, three excavating machines laid waste to this two-storied building.
Mr. Zhang Xin (pseudonym, more than fifty years old) was in charge of the church. He said that since December 20, 2014, the village head arranged villagers to guard at the church gate and prevent believers from entering and attending meetings. These villagers were paid 100 RMB per day.
It is learned that after the church’s destruction, Zhang Xin’s third youngest brother and the son of his brother were discriminated. Previously, the government promised to give subsidies to Zhang Xin’s brother and his friend for their contracted grape farm (about 100 mu). However, the procedure for subsidies was suddenly terminated after the church was demolished. The son of Zhang’s brother applied to join the military and met all the criteria, but was disqualified because of this incide
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Bitter Winter plans to report on how religions are allowed, or not allowed, to operate in China and how some are severely persecuted after they are labeled as “xie jiao,” or heterodox teachings. We plan to publish news difficult to find elsewhere, analyses, and debates.
Placed under the editorship of Massimo Introvigne, one of the most well-known scholars of religion internationally, “Bitter Winter” is a cooperative enterprise by scholars, human rights activists, and members of religious organizations persecuted in China (some of them have elected, for obvious reasons, to remain anonymous).