China: Christians beaten for rebuffing demolition of church property

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A number of priests in China have been beaten for trying to fend off demolition of a property belonging to church. Details emerged that Chinese security officers had beaten several priests and lay Christians in in Wangcun village of Shanxi province after they tried to fend off demolition of a building belonging to church.

Christians in China

In keeping with details, the incident took place on August 29, when Chinese officials beat several priests including Fathers Chen Jun, Gao Binglong, Ma Ning, and Shen Xuezhong along with several other lay Christians. One of the Christians Cui Hewen sustained head injuries as the government’s workers assaulted him. The building intended to be demolished by the government officials belongs to church.

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In a bid to prevent demolition, priests along with laypeople sat in front of the heavy machinery brought to strike the building down. A video uploaded on the internet shows a clash between the Christians and the government officials. Christians can be seen chanting “Jesus save me!” and “Mother Mary, have pity on us.”

Shortly, the video went viral on the internet and more Christians arrived at the site in order to join the cause. About 2,000 Christians gathered at the site in order to prevent the government officials from demolishing the church property. As a result of the masses, government officials and representatives were forced to leave.

However, local Christians fear the matter is far from over. Father Shen, parish priest of Wangcun Church said: “The security officers and workers left only to discuss countermeasures. I fear that they will come back.”

On the other hand, authorities claim that the demolition of the church property was to be carried out in line with orders and regulations to “demolish the old and broken.” The U.S. State Department has declared that Chinese government has “physically abused, detained, arrested, tortured, sentenced to prison, or harassed adherents of both registered and unregistered religious groups,” in 2016.