By Brynne Lawrence
(Fulong, Guangxi—June 14, 2016) A pastor sustained serious injuries when local residents, led by a regional Communist Party official, stormed a church on May 1, destroying property.
After several Christians entered the building to pray, other villagers stormed inside and tore Bibles and hymnals, the church’s website reported on May 3. Wielding electrical cables, they prevented the churchgoers from singing worship songs and shouted insults at them.
|Churches in China are often targetted by authorities, such as
this door, covered by an official seal. (Photo: China Aid)
Police responded to an emergency call from church staff, but only looked around and then left without taking action. Afterwards, the villagers re-entered the building, smashed windows and threw stones at a church leader named Lan until he fainted and had to be rushed to a health center, bleeding profusely. Due to the severity of his injuries, the health center transferred him to Yizhou Hospital.
The church also phoned various governmental departments, but received no response.
According to the church, the official head of the village, Lan Qingxin, and a local resident, Lan Jianan, had previously organized groups of villagers on March 18 to repeatedly attack the church. The groups were fueled by the belief that the church’s position in the center of the village disrupted the feng shui, or harmony with an invisible energy, of the area, bringing disease and death to the village. Since that event, the villagers have attacked the church numerous times, damaging the building, insulting the Christians, blocking roads leading to the church and extorting money from one of the attendees. Additionally, the church’s power was repeatedly cut off and the door wired shut.
China Aid exposes abuses, such as those experienced by this church, in order to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China.