Chinese Catholic Church Destroyed under Govt’s Order

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An underground Catholic church in China has been demolished by Chinese authorities in Hebei province. This action was taken after the leader of the church declined joining an association approved by the Chinese Communist Party.

According to Radio Free Asia, the church has been holding services under a tent structure in Youtong village, Shijiazhuang, before it was destroyed. Meanwhile, the church’s leader, Dong Baolu, was said to have gone for a medical check-up as he was suffering from hemiplegia.

The government had asked the church leader and his members to support the Catholic Patriotic Association but they disagreed. The members did not restrain the government when they decided to destroy the church.

Baolu said, “I am the only one left. Do you think they would let me pass? I am the remaining one among more than 100 priests, certainly they will not spare me.”

In 1949, when communists gained power in China, Christian missionaries were expelled and churches were only permitted to operate under the control of the government.

The Chinese government formed the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association in 1957. Afterwards, Christians in the country suffered persecution especially during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and the 1970s under Mao, who saw religion as “poison.”

Presently, Churches are being given permission to operate under the condition that they must register with the government and function under its control.

Open Doors USA, an organization which monitors the persecution of Christians in over 60 countries, estimates that China has more than 97 million Christians, many of whom worship in unregistered or so-called illegal underground churches.

The persecution Christians face in China has not deterred their faith in Christ. Some of them have been harassed and arrested in the past. Nevertheless, they are not backing down their decision to gather together for service.

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