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Several churches in one city in China’s Zhejiang province face demolition or being ‘rectified’ under a local government campaign to ‘modernise’ the area and boost its economy.

Under the campaign, a number of churches in Wenzhou city have received notice that they are to be pulled down for ‘breaching planning laws’. Others are to have ‘conspicuous’ structures such as their crosses removed.

On 4 April, government employees tried to demolish a nursing home run by Jiangjiaqiao Church in the Yueqing area but they were deterred by elderly church members. A 100-year-old church in the same area has received an official notice that it is ‘illegal’ and will be demolished. Yet another, Baixiang Church, was ordered to pull down its four-storey Sunday school building by 3 April.

One of four churches in the Rui’an area targeted by the government campaign sparked a social media storm when local officials temporarily covered up its cross with black canvas.

Last week, thousands of Christians stood guard over Sanjiang Church in the Yongjia area, attracting international media coverage, after officials announced it was to be demolished. The church has since agreed a compromise deal which allows the demolition of a structure behind its main building.

Source: China Aid, Release International

Prayer Points

  • Please pray that officials in Wenzhou will relent and abandon plans to demolish church property and remove crosses.
  • Pray for wisdom for church leaders.
  • Pray that God’s glory will shine across Wenzhou.