Earlier this week, over 70 police officers and workers demolished Liang Wang Catholic Church, a state-sanctioned church in China that has been registered since 2006.
According to CBN News, the church’s caretakers, Gao Rongli, Zhang Siling and Li Xiangmei, were inside the church during the forced detonation, and had their cell phones confiscated and destroyed before being driven out of the building. Within 15 minutes bulldozers and pickaxes reduced the church to rubble.
This is not uncommon in China. The Chinese government frequently demolishes churches for alleged “urban zoning” or commercial purposes. A Catholic church near Xi’an in the Shaanxi province was destroyed last December, despite having necessary permits.
Gina Goh, regional manager of International Christian Concern, said: “The disproportionate manpower used to demolish this church goes to show that China is fearful of Christians. The government knew that the demolition in the name of urban zoning would be met with resistance, so it ensured success by taking extreme measures. Despite their best efforts to intimidate the Church with actions like this, the government cannot destroy the faith and resilience of Chinese Christians.”
The Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness, a U.S.-based organization that highlights Christian persecution in China, shared photos of the megachurch scene on their Facebook page.
Alongside the photos, the translated version of their caption read: “On July 17, 2018, at 11 noon, the church of Liang Wang, the diocese of east, the Catholic Mountain, was forcibly demolished, and the number of people involved in the strong demolition was up to 70, and they snatched the three sisters of the Mobile phones, forced to take them away from church, use large demolition equipment, despite the church, Kneeling Stool, and other items, the church was completely bulldozed in 15 minutes.”