China: Closed Churches Ordered to Be Sold, Rented, or Destroyed

November 11, 2020

Persecution of Christians in China: The Chinese government has been acting with ever greater impunity against Christians. Its attempt to place tight restrictions on Christian activities is part of its efforts to create a form of Christianity with “Chinese characteristics,” that is, a Christianity that is a pliant tool of the Communist Party. This is a matter of grave concern also for all the Christians of the country, including the tiny community of Orthodox Christians in China. The village official’s words in the article below are telling: “The church will now be used to teach the young generation about China’s revolutionary spirit.” Chinese Communist Party officials are working toward using all churches for this purpose, while closing down those that do not comply.

China offers yet another instance of the persecution of Christians by governing officials that is unfortunately on the increase not only in China, but in all too many other nations around the world.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in China, see here.

“China: Closed Churches Ordered to Be Sold, Rented, or Destroyed,” by Yang Guang’an, Bitter Winter, November 6, 2020:

More than 70 Protestant venues were shut down last year in Jiangsu Province’s prefecture-level cities of Lianyungang and Suqian. To prevent congregations from resuming their gatherings, the government decided to demolish or repurpose the venues.

In August, at a meeting of Three-Self Church directors in Bailu, a town in Lianyungang’s Guannan county, town officials explained that the empty churches, left after their congregations had been merged with other venues, must be rented or sold.

One of the churches, which had been unused since its closure in June last year, was rented out on August 25.

Another one was sold the same month. “The government is eradicating churches,” the church director commented helplessly.

Some venues have already been sold before the meeting in August. Among them, the Chenzhuang Church was sold on July 26 for 20,000 RMB (about $ 3,000). “We didn’t have a chance to save our church,” a congregation member remembered.

A shut-down Three-Self church in Suqian city’s Shuyang county was converted into a memorial hall for China’s revolutionary heroes. A county resident told Bitter Winter that on June 5, government-hired workers removed from the building its cross and a large pillar with a sign “God loves the world.” A signboard “Huaihai District’s Military and Political Auditorium” was displayed above the church entrance.

“The church will now be used to teach the young generation about China’s revolutionary spirit,” a village official explained.

At least three shut-down Three-Self churches in Suqian’s Siyang county have been demolished. “People of faith outnumber Communist Party members, and the Party is not winning people’s hearts,” a village official explained. “The government fears that this will bring instability. Churches are eradicated to ensure that there are more CCP members than believers.”…