Local Chinese Communists blew up an “underground” church to discourage Christians.
Supposedly Chinese communists tolerate Christianity, but often they actually take steps to obstruct it. In the case of the Golden Lampstand Church, the authorities planted explosives and destroyed the building.
This is not the first time local officials have persecuted Christians in the area. In the past they have burned Bibles and vandalized property.
The Independent reports, “Chinese authorities blow up Christian megachurch with dynamite.”
Witnesses and overseas activists said the paramilitary People’s Armed Police used dynamite and excavators to destroy the Golden Lampstand Church, which has a congregation of more than 50,000, in the city of Linfen in Shaanxi province.
ChinaAid, a US-based Christian advocacy group, said local authorities planted explosives in an underground worship hall to demolish the building following, constructed with nearly $2.6m (£1.9m) in contributions from local worshippers in one of China’s poorest regions.
The church had faced “repeated persecution” by the Chinese government, said ChinaAid. Hundreds of police and hired thugs smashed the building and seized Bibles in an earlier crackdown in 2009 that ended with the arrest of church leaders.
Those church leaders were given prison sentences of up to seven years for charges of illegally occupying farmland and disturbing traffic order, according to state media.
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