Bulldozing Churches

Juicy Ecumenism | 10/22/2019 | Mark Tooley
Kota79Kota79 (Posted by) Level 4
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Sometimes China’s rulers bulldoze churches. Bob Fu of U.S.-based ChinaAid recently released video of a 3000 seat church under destruction in Funan County in Anhui province in China’s interior. Reportedly the bulldozing was launched during worship. Since there are no reports of casualties, presumably everybody escaped. Two clergy were arrested, accused vaguely of “gathering a mass to disturb social order.”

This church was officially sanctioned as part of the state authorized “Three Self-Help Movement” for Protestant churches. So it’s unclear why this congregation, if legal, was so dramatically targeted. Religious persecution in China is notoriously capricious. Some provincial governments act more aggressively than others. But persecution in recent years, after decades of relative if uneven liberalization, has become more routine and advocated by Beijing, which sees religion as a threat to one party rule.

Churches - Clergy - Order - Allegation - Christianity

So churches and clergy are accused of “disturbing social order.” Perhaps the allegation is true in that Christianity does offer an alternative cosmology to a communist regime that rejects any dissent from the atheist ruling party. Certainly China’s tyrants are justified as seeing religion as subversive to Marxism/Leninism, even their superficial version of it.

But churches are not typically disturbers of social order in a literal or immediate sense. Christians are called to obey the civil law and respect ruling others. The mission of churches is to save souls, disciple believers, help the needy, and act redemptively in every society. Churches, if true to their calling, create better and more productive citizens, not political revolutionaries.

China - Rulers - Wise - Christianity - Influence

China’s rulers, if wise, would not fight Christianity but welcome its influence in creating prosperity, moral purpose and social harmony in China. Growing churches would help China become a great nation.

But tyrants are rarely wise. They usually are jealous, paranoid, insecure and unsure of their own ability to retain unquestioned power. They overreact to any...
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