Authorities charge church with illegal construction, demolish church and cross

Authorities demolished Island Head
Christian Church. (Photo: China Aid)

China Aid
Reported in Chinese by Qiao Nong. Translated by Carolyn Song. Edited in English by Ava Collins.

(Wenzhou, Zhejiang—April 26, 2016) Authorities in China’s coastal Zhejiang province demolished a church building on April 13, after reportedly claiming that the church’s cross was positioned too high.

A demolition team consisting of several dozen people tore down Island Head Christian Church in the city of Wenzhou, declaring that the building was illegally constructed. Church leaders and other attendees resisted the demolition at first, but relented after officials threatened the protesters.

One of the church attendees estimated that a value of approximately three million Yuan (U.S. $460,000) was lost in the destruction of the three-story church building.

Since 2014, authorities across the Zhejiang province have demolished more than 2,000 church crosses, with at least 50 destroyed in Wenzhou during the month of March alone. The removal of crosses is part of an ongoing “beautification” campaign known as “Three Rectifications and One Demolition.” Authorities often claim that church buildings or crosses have been constructed illegally as justification for the demolitions.

China Aid reports on church demolitions such as the destruction of Island Head Christian Church in order to expose abuses by the Chinese government and promote religious freedom and rule of law.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]