June 29, 2010
HEILONGJIANG — On June 12, 2010, a building belonging to Yichun’s registered Three-Self Patriotic Movement church was demolished and removed by force, despite the objection of members.
Yichun authorities wanted to requisition the land of the church, but they did not wait to reach any agreement with the church before taking action and proceeding with the demolition. The director of Yichun District personally took over the command of the operation, bringing a formidable force of police officers, armed policemen, and riot policemen. Community workers and some unidentified people also were involved in the demolition and removal.
When people from the church went to negotiate, the officials in charge said they did not have certificates identifying themselves, so they were not legally qualified to negotiate. The demolition and removal people dragged out several Christian women who stayed in the church building. Two of these women had heart attacks on the spot. They were rushed to a hospital for emergency treatment.
Yichun authorities said they would broadcast the video of demolishing the church building across the city.
China Aid denounces the actions of the Yichun authorities in their destruction of the church building without completing peaceable negotiations for the land. We call on the Chinese Government to protect the property rights of their citizens from further unjust practices of local authorities. We also ask Christians to pray for strength and hope for members of the Yichun church, and full recovery of the two women who suffered heart attacks during the demolition.