Monday, July 31, 2006

Church Building Destroyed and Believers Beaten by Chinese Authorities

This afternoon (July 31, 2006) The Voice of the Martyrs in Canada learned from our partner, China Aid Association (CAA) that on the afternoon of July 29, a large house church building in Che Lu Wan Village, Dangshan Town, Xiaoshan District, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province was destroyed and many Christians were arrested and wounded during the confrontation.

According to CAA, eyewitness reported that the destruction of the church building started at 2:30 PM, July 29. Several thousand anti-riot police, military police and government workers along with three hundred military vehicles arrived and surrounded the church building while 10,000 House Church Christians were praying in the building. The church has been under construction since July 17, 2006 and was almost complete when it was destroyed.According to CAA, eyewitnesses reported that the police used "electric shock batons and anti-riot shields to disperse thousands of Christians. Several hundred Christians were observed to be beaten and some were arrested and taken away by police while they attempted to protect their church building.

According to a reliable source from the house church there, on July 28th, the Xiaoshan District government declared the church building 'illegal' because it was built without government permission and asked the Christians to voluntarily destroy it. This church building was on private land purchased by a local Christian couple."

Sources from both the government and the church told CAA that the local government has repeatedly denied the Christian believers' formal request to build a church, even though they have met all the requirements.

Please pray for those who were injured and arrested in the confrontation. The Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy reports that twenty people were hurt, including four who were seriously injured. Pray for the release of those who were arrested.

We would also urge you to protest the destruction of this church property and the excessive use of police force. Please call and/or write to:

Secretary XI Jinping, Party General Secretary of Zhejinag Province Tel: +86-571-7052463Address: No. 1, Sheng Fu Lu, Xihu District, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province (Zip code: 310025)

Ms. Wu Aiying, Minister of Ministry of Justice of PRCTel: +86-10-65205114 Fax: +86-10-64729863Address: No. 10, Nan Da Jie, Chaoyangmen, Beijing City (Zip Code: 100020)

His Excellency Shumin Lu, Ambassador Embassy of the People's Republic of China 515 St. Patrick Street Ottawa, Ontario K1N 5H3 Tel: (613) 789-3434,3513

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