Churches are eradicated to ensure there are more Chinese Communist Party members than believers
Updated: November 13, 2020 07:29 AM GMT
More than 70 Protestant churches and venues were shut and ordered to be rented out or sold in the cities of Lianyungang and Suqian in Jiangsu province of east-central China last year.
Officials have also decided to demolish or repurpose the venues with an aim to prevent congregations from resuming gatherings, according to Bitter Winter, an online magazine focusing on religious liberty and human rights in China.
Officials in Bailu town in Lianyungang’s Guannan county told directors of the local Three-Self Church during a meeting in August that the empty churches must be rented out or sold. In August, one of the churches, which was closed in June last year, was rented out and another one was sold.
“The government is eradicating churches,” a church director lamented.
Even before the August meeting, some church venues had been sold, including the July 26 sale of Chenzhuang Church for about US$3,000.
“We didn’t have a chance to save our church,” said a congregation member.
After the shutdown, authorities converted Three-Self Church in Suqian city’s Shuyang county into a memorial hall for China’s revolutionary heroes.
As part of the conversion, workers hired by the government removed its cross and a pillar with a signboard “God loves the world” on June 5. It was replaced by another signboard reading “Huaihai District’s Military and Political Auditorium,” a resident told Bitter Winter.
“The church will now be used to teach the young generation about China’s revolutionary spirit,” announced a village official.
The official explained why three branches of the Three-Self Church have been demolished.