A second church has been demolished by authorities in China’s Jinan province — and a third church is expected to suffer the same fate soon.
After Liangwang Catholic Church was demolished on July 17, local Catholics prayed at the site and protested the unreasonable behaviour of authorities.
Shilihe Catholic Church was demolished earlier this year and sources expect Wangcun Catholic Church to soon be reduced to rubble.
All three churches were in normal use and legal churches officially registered with the religious administration, according to a source in Jinan.
Liangwang Church was built in 1920. During the Cultural Revolution, it was classified as a private house. After lengthy legal procedures, the church was rebuilt in 2006.
At noon on July 17, three female church members were on duty at the church when more than 40 people forced their way in, searched the members, took their mobile phones and made them leave the church.
Another 30 people later arrived to help with the demolition, which went ahead despite the church still containing many items.
The church was built on land that was distributed by Liangwang village and had been granted a permit for legal activities. It was demolished because its area in Pian district is to be developed with new buildings and infrastructure. After the demolition, the parish priest and president complained to authorities but have not received any reply.
“The stools, altars and dedication boxes were all pressed into the ruins. The ruins later became a fire and all the items were burned out,” said a church member.