Protestant church in Wenzhou, China, demolished

An 85,00-square foot church in Wenzhou, China, was demolished, officials citing its excessive size and violations of building permits.
By Ed Adamczyk   |   April 30, 2014 at 2:33 PM   |   Comments

WENZHOU , China, April 30 (UPI) -- An 85,000-square foot Protestant church in the coastal city of Wenzhou, China, was demolished on orders of the Chinese Communist Party.

The $5 million Sanjiang Church, dominating the city skyline with soaring spires, high ceilings and stained glass and finished in 2013 after six years of construction, was four times the size building permits allowed, officials said. Activists, though, say the demolition was part of a campaign against Christians throughout Zhejiang province, and claim a dozen more churches in the area face demolition.

The demolition ended a month-long standoff between parishioners and authorities.

“You have no idea how hard it was for us to build that church,” said parishioner Yu Xinwei. The construction came after a twelve-year campaign to fund the church, and donations came from all over the world.

ChinaAid, an organization focused on persecution of Christians and based in Texas, said the church was brought down after comments by a Communist Party provincial secretary, Xia Baolong, who complained crosses atop steeples were “too conspicuous and too flashy.”

Although religion is closely regulated in China, Wenzhou is nicknamed “China’s Jerusalem.” Renmin University anthropologist Cao Nanlai said, “Wenzhou people are very well-known for their entrepreneurial spirit, and they express their Christianity through real estate. There have been other churches demolished but this one is the largest.”

Follow @adamczyk_ed and @UPI on Twitter.
Contact the Author
© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Source: Ferguson cop beaten before shooting
Hamas executes 18 it claims are Israeli informers, takes credit for kidnapping Israeli teens
4 firefighters injured in 'Ice Bucket Challenge'
Malaysia Airlines MH17 victims' bodies arrive in Kuala Lumpur
Robert Hansen, notorious Alaska serial killer, dead at 75
Trending News