Two women were injured, and a man was arrested in China’s Henan province after about 200 communist officials demolished the Sunzhuang Church in the province.
The Sunzhuang church, a part of a network of government-run churches, was destroyed using cranes and heavy-duty machinery.
According to China Aid, a U.S.-based group, the officials didn’t show any legal documents when they destroyed the church.
A Christian woman, in her attempt to resist the the demolition, lost consciousness after she was pushed to the ground. Another female member of the church was beaten and hospitalized, while a man was arrested by the officials.
The Sunzhuang Church became a part of the Three-self Patriotic Movement in June 2012, when the government allowed it to build a new church building.
The building building was constructed in June 2013, but the church received eviction and demolition notices from the Sunzhuang village authorities.
The 2013 decision to demolish the church was made without the villagers’ consent according to the China Aid report, and authorities were barred from carrying out the demolition at the time.
According to Open Doors USA’s World Watch List, China ranks as the 23rd worst country in terms of Christian persecution.
The organisation reports that churches in china are “perceived as a threat if they become too large, too political or invite foreign guests.
Earlier this month, Italian-based magazine- Bitter Winter, a publication produced by the Center for Studies on New Religion which covers human issues in China, had reported that authorities removed crosses from more than 250 churches in Anhui province between January and April.
“All Christian symbols are ordered to be removed as part of the government’s Crackdown campaign,” a provincial employee from Ma’anshan said.s
Though the Chinese government officially recognizes five religions: Buddhism, Catholicism, Daoism, Islam and Protestantism, religious activities are usually regulated by State Administration for Religious Affairs and doctrines must ‘adapt’ to the government’s ideology.