Government officials bomb church in Henan
Authorities in China’s central Henan province blew up a church on Tuesday as part of a renovation project.
Qiaobei Church, located in the Changge region of Xuchang, Henan, was a five-story landmark in its area. In the middle of this year, Changge officials launched the Qingyi River Comprehensive Control Project and ordered two kilometers along the river redone by the end of October as a project sample, including Qiaobei Church. As a result, all residents and organizations were ordered to relocate by end of August, and government personnel dispatched demolition crews to tear down all the houses around the church on Aug. 30.
However, the church opposed the plan, and the director of the local United Front Work Department asked all government departments to “pull together, have a holistic plan, conduct a joint act, try every means, and do their best to solve the problem.” The religious affairs bureau was charged with changing mindset of the church’s leaders.
Meanwhile, the rectification process in the area continued, with officials insisting that it should be completed by the deadline and giving specific instructions concerning the demolition of Qiaobei Church. When the church still resisted, government agents blocked the streets and forcibly evacuated everyone in the building before bombing it on Dec. 4.
This instance echoes a previous church bombing in January, in which Golden Lampstand Church in Shanxi, also a prominent city landmark, was destroyed.
Following the implementation of China’s revised Regulations on Religious Affairs on Feb. 1, Henan officials have adopted an extreme hostility towards Christianity, closing churches, destroying church property, and arresting Christians.
ChinaAid stands firm against the bombing of Qiaobei Church and exposes the abuses suffered by Chinese Christians in order to promote human rights, religious freedom, and rule of law.