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Henan, China’s third largest province, is no stranger to violence from police.
This month, a Protestant church in Henan fell victim to demolition and the authorities’ religious persecution. It was reduced to ruins in just over ten minutes. The next day, the debries were completley cleaned up and there was no trace of the church left.
Over 100 government officials and police officers, led by the secretary of Xianglushan town, arrived at the church and ordered to forcibly demolish it on the grounds that it “violated building laws.”
The construction of the Three-Self church in Xianglushan town of Yiyang county, under the jurisdiction of Henan’s Luoyang city, was funded by believers. The church covered an area of about 200 square meters and could accommodate over 100 people.
Furthermore, another incident in Henan earlier this month saw Chinese police officers and SWAT members close down a newly built church, beat dozens of Christians guarding it, and buring Bibles before leaving.
“As soon as they entered the church, they smashed the donation box and pocketed the money, which totaled thousands of [yuan – likely hundreds in U.S. dollars.] They also questioned us about where all of our church’s money was kept,” a church member told Bitter Winter, which monitors religious persecution in China.
The congregation, True Jesus Church in Anping, had opened a new building in July 2018 that cost around $300,000 U.S. However the authorities believed it was built with foreign money.