(Bitter Winter) — As the CCP is stepping up its efforts to suppress Christianity, multiple house church venues across the country have been crushed for refusing to join the state-run Three-Self Church. One such venue was destroyed in late October in Gaoqiang village in Lin’an county, administered by Hangzhou city in the eastern province of Zhejiang. The demolition of the building, which could accommodate up to 200 believers, was carried out without prior warning and was devastating for the congregation.
According to an eyewitness, at 4 a.m. on October 20, the local government deployed over 200 special police officers to enforce the demolition. Half a dozen excavators and bulldozers were brought in for the job, and the building was razed to the ground before dawn. At about 7 a.m., members of the congregation who came to their venue found a pile of rubble left behind from the destroyed three-story building.
To prevent any protests, officials threatened to handcuff and take away anyone who tried to voice their grievances about the demolition.
One of the believers revealed to Bitter Winter that before the demolition, local government officials had repeatedly pressured the person in charge of the venue to sign an agreement to join the Three-Self Church and accept government-appointed preachers.