Demolition shemolition

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The Wenzhou story continues to simmer. On Thursday, state media in the form of the Beijing-based Global Times weighed in with an official denial.

Official denies order to tear down churches in Wenzhou
Global Times | 2014-4-10 0:43:02
By Zhang Yu in Wenzhou

Religious affairs authorities in Wenzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province, on Wednesday denied recent accusations that Christian churches in the city had been ordered to dismantle buildings or take down crosses.

Claims about demolition orders have circulated in the local Christian community and on social media since late March, as the province has been carrying out a campaign to demolish illegal buildings at religious sites in an effort to rectify the “unsustainable growth pattern” of Christianity.

According to Christians familiar with the matter, at least five churches in Zhejiang Province have received orders to either bulldoze their buildings or remove crosses. Four of them are in Wenzhou, which has over 1 million Christians among its 9 million population, a relatively high proportion in China. The city has been dubbed the “Jerusalem of the East” in some Western media reports. Read more

The Telegraph’s very able Tom Philips in Shanghai has picked up on this as has the New York-based website China Topix.