Chinese Press Confirms Destruction Campaign

Important documentary evidence that Keston News Service obtained from China's official press confirms the government's campaign to destroy unregistered religious buildings in Wenzhou at the end of last year. A carefully planned campaign against "feudal superstition" was carried out from October to the end of December. The campaign destroyed hundreds of Buddhist, Daoist and Christian churches, temples and shrines with explicit approval of communist and state authorities.

The Washington Post reported in December that more than 1,500 churches, temples and shrines around Wenzhou were either shut down or destroyed. In nearby Qiaotou township, officials had threatened to tear down illegal churches, but after a shut-down the buildings were reopened. This year those churches all were destroyed or turned into recreation centers. One house church leader said, "The party can supervise our bodies and our minds, but we can't let it supervise our souls."