By Chiqui Guyjoco
Christians in China succeeded in saving a church, one which possesses legal papers, from getting demolished.
According to China Aid, members of Mengen Church launched a petition to prevent the demolition of their church that resulted from a land battle between the Christians and authorities who wanted to build a Buddhist temple on their church land.
The petition garnered 147 signatures and succeeded in halting the demolition attempt. The church members also managed to convince on July 28 an electrician hired by a local official named Pan Dingqun from cutting off their church building’s power and electricity supply.
“[On July 28] several Christians went into town to report this matter, because our church has all the legal documents,” Wei, head of Mengen Church, told China Aid. “The town’s government personnel replied that they would conducted an investigation into this matter, but I am afraid they have collaborated [with the people who instigated the case]. The result will not likely be good.”
Another Christian, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, also accused authorities of using local gangs in the ongoing persecution and harassment against Christians.
“The government is currently preoccupied with the ‘big tigers’and the ‘little tigers’ [continue to] unreasonably bully people, using means such as burying people alive and thinking they can occupy other people’s land,” said the Christian.
Such an incident happened back in April when church pastor, Li Jiangong, and his wife, Ding Cuimei, opposed a local developer who wanted to demolish Beitou Church in Zhumadian, Henan province in order to possess the land.
The couple stood their ground against the demolition team, which then resorted to burying the couple alive. Li managed to dig his way out while his wife died from suffocation.
While reports of church demolitions appear to have waned in the recent month, the Communist state ramped up its persecution of Christians and their churches detaining church leaders and members, sealing off churches, and even forcing them to join a state-run Protestant church.