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Christians save church from demolition amid ongoing dispute

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Qiao Nong  |  China Aid

Cross still in place on the Jinjia'er church in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, July 27, 2015 (courtesy of a church member)
Cross still in place on the Jinjia’er church in Huzhou  (courtesy of a church member)

(Lingbao, Henan) Church members recently saved their church from demolition in the midst of an ongoing legal case over the church’s land.

According to Wei, the man in charge of Mengen Church, authorities devised a plan to demolish his church and use the land to build a Buddhist temple. On July 28, he said that Pan Dingqun, a local official, hired an electrician to cut off the church’s power and water supply. The church members convinced the electrician not to do so, despite his concerns that he might lose his job.

Additionally, they wrote a petition that garnered 147 signatures and saved their church from demolition. Pan, however, is still gathering groups of officials to discuss continued attempts to cut off the church’s power.

“[On July 28] several Christians went into town to report this matter, because our church has all the legal documents,” a Christian said. “The town’s government personnel replied that they would conducted an investigation into this matter, but I am afraid they have collaborated [with the people who instigated the case]. The result will not likely be good.”

Another Christian attested that government officials have been colluding with gangs to harass Christians, saying, “The government is currently preoccupied with the ‘big tigers’ [Editor’s note: This alludes to an ongoing crackdown on officials the Chinese government deems corrupt], and the ‘little tigers’ [continue to] unreasonably bully people, using means such as burying people alive and thinking they can occupy other people’s land.”

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