Source: Direct Reports from China
Date: May 28, 2018
Local authorities forcibly dismantled a 200-square-meter iron shack built for religious meetings by Three-Self church believers in Fuqing, Fujian. At present, over a hundred believers, most of whom are aged, have nowhere to go for their religious meetings.
In March 2018, the deputy mayor of Su’ao Town in Pingtan County brought a group of young men to demolish the shack. Two believers, about 70 years old, tried to dissuade them from doing so, saying, “You cannot dismantle the shack. It was specially built for the elderly so that we could conveniently attend meetings.” The deputy mayor replied that it was the County government’s order and they could do nothing about it. He also said this shack was an unapproved construction project. Another elderly believer, about 80 years old, pleaded with them, “We only built one floor. Plus, there are over 100 people who don’t have a meeting place. For the sake of us, elderly people, could you please not destroy it?”
Pleads did not help to stop the demolition of the shack; before long, it was largely destroyed, leaving only the iron frame of the building.
This is the second time the authorities demolish the shack. Four months after its construction in June 2017, the deputy mayor of Su’ao town brought people over and dismantled the shack claiming that the meeting place did not have proper authorization. Previously, a believer proposed to build a church on the plot he bought, but the government refused to approve the project.
Having lost their meeting place, some of the believers, about 30, continue to gather in secret by crowding together in a 10-square-meter room.