Source: Direct Reports from China
Date: June 27, 2018
Local authorities mobilized over one hundred officers to demolish a newly-built place of worship of the Three-Self Church in Xingcun town in the city of Wuyishan, Fujian Province. This was the first church in the town, built from donations of local Christians in 2016. The Three-Self Church is the government-controlled united Protestant church, but this does not prevent its communities from being occasionally harassed and persecuted.Li Qing (pseudonym, 71), donated over 10,000 RMB, which she had saved from her frugal life and hard work to finance the construction of the church. The overjoyed Christians were planning to hold the first service in the new church on December 26, 2016.
In the morning of October 1, 2016, a brigade of Wuyishan city law enforcement officers drove to the church and informed the believers that the already-constructed church but still undergoing decoration would be demolished. Dozens of Christians spontaneously rushed over to protect the church from demolition. Some of the elder believers got so upset and angry that they lost consciousness. Among those was Li Qing – her blood pressure spiked up to 260 mmHg and she fainted. The law enforcement officers, afraid of being held responsible for anyone’s death, temporarily halted the church’s demolition.
At about 5 a.m. on December 23, 2016, Wuyishan city public security officials, municipal law enforcement officers, municipal traffic police, and medical personnel – over one hundred people in total – drove to the church, along with an excavator. Taking advantage of the pre-dawn darkness, they cordoned off the residential area around the church and sealed off the intersections. They did not allow anyone to leave their homes. When Li Qing heard movement outside, she wanted to go out and see what was going on but discovered that the gate of her house had been locked. She forcefully kicked it open, but her son did not allow her to leave home. Other Christians and preachers rushed over to the church but couldn’t get close to it. They tried to reason with the police, but the officers paid them no mind and continued with the forcible demolition. Around 9 a.m., the new church that had been built with over 100,000 RMB of funds, had been reduced to a heap of rubble.