Prayer Center Destroyed by Force, Church Leaders Threatened for Mission Conference Invitation
September 3, 2010
ZHEJIANG, China, (christiansunite.com) -- On August 30, 2010, several elderly Christians were disturbed during their morning prayers when authorities trooped into their mountainside prayer center. They were forcibly removed, and then watched helplessly as the building was demolished.
The police force, several hundred strong, removed about twenty elderly Christians from the building. No one seemed injured. Workmen proceeded to destroy the church's prayer room, school room, and training center rooms.
Known as "Prayer Mountain," the complex was owned by the Taishan Christian House Church (located in Qinggang District, Yuhuan county, Taizhou City, Zhejiang province). This incident comes on the heels of more recent persecution against house churches.
According to ChinaAid's reliable sources, at least three house churches were shut down August 5th and 6th, 2010. The churches were located in Wuhan, Hubei, in Sanmenxia, Henan and in Changsha, Hunan. They belonged to China Gospel Fellowship (CGF), one of the major house church networks in China, with an estimated 5-7 million members.
The churches were forced to close down by the Chinese government because church leaders were invited to attend the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in October 2010 at Cape Town, South Africa.( www.Lausanne.org ) Sources informed ChinaAid that the Chinese Public Security Bureau has obtained the list of 200 Chinese invitees and threatened some of them not to attend, but CGF leaders refused to back down.
"In August we have seen an increase in persecution that is alarming and unjustifiable," says Pastor Bob Fu. "We condemn the destruction of the Prayer Mountain church complex, and urge local authorities to cease their threats against the China Gospel Fellowship to prevent them from exercising their religious freedoms."
ChinaAid condemns the unjust actions of the local authorities destroying the Taishan Christian House Church's building. We ask for prayers of encouragement for the church members. ChinaAid also stands with China Gospel Fellowship's bold leaders. We urge the international community to speak against this continued oppression of religious freedom.