The specialized site Bitter Winter reported a series of cases where officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), in coordination with CCP police, harassed and beat up believers in order to demolish their temples as religious persecution continues in China.
On May 18, more than 20 officials and police officers showed up at a Buddhist temple in Shucheng County, in eastern Anhui Province, claiming they had orders to demolish it. When the monks asked them to produce some kind of documentation, an official took a “wooden fish”—a percussion instrument used in Buddhist rituals—that belonged to one of the believers and destroyed it. One of the women at the scene, who was filming the goings on, asked the officer to refrain from committing any violence, and was brutally beaten by the police officers.
“Three officers pressed her to the ground, hitting her collarbones until she lost consciousness, and the phone was destroyed,” one witness told Bitter Winter.
According to Bitter Winter, the police officers also attacked and injured a monk, roughly 70 years old, for waving his cane in front of the officers. The man was accused of “assaulting the police” (click here to see the photo of the attack on the monk).
Within minutes, the temple was completely destroyed (click here to see pictures of before and after the demolition).
On July 2, the Dangtu County authorities, administered by Ma’anshan a prefecture-level city, sent more than 100 police officers to demolish a temple.
According to Bitter Winter, the construction of the temple cost more than 700,000 yuan (about $98,000), which was collected by villagers (click here to see a picture of the temple before it was demolished).
“Special police officers cordoned off the temple, preventing us from approaching,” said one villager quoted by the website.
The man described how the officers broke the lock to enter and demolished the temple “after dragging out the eight elderly believers protecting it.”
“A township official told us that the temple had to be demolished regardless of our objections, and even if there are casualties,” the villager recalled.
“The temple was demolished after eight days of resistance. We could do nothing against the government’s [CCP’s] draconian measures and ruthless behavior,” he lamented.
In the following video you can see the moment when the officials enter the temple, along with a backhoe, to demolish it:
In March, officials of Mamiao village, in Huaining County of Anqing city, sent more than 200 people to demolish a Buddhist temple. According to Bitter Winter, officials did not inform the temple director or the villagers beforehand in order to avoid public protests.
After the demolition, communist authorities ordered the planting of corn on the site where the temple was built (see images here).
Religious persecution in China
Since the CCP took power by force in China in 1949, spiritual beliefs have been one of its main targets of repression.
As far as Christianity is concerned, many Chinese Christians refuse to go to the Three Autonomies churches—whose pastors and leaders are appointed by the CCP—and congregate in Protestant churches called “house churches,” which are persecuted by the authorities.
Other religious groups brutally persecuted in China, in addition to those already mentioned, are the Uighurs—especially in the Xinjiang region—and Falun Dafa practitioners (also known as Falun Gong)—throughout China.
In fact, leading British human rights lawyer Sir Geoffrey Nice QC recently called for the formation of an independent court in London to investigate whether the CCP’s abuses against Uighur Muslims constitute genocide or crimes against humanity.
Nice, who previously led the prosecution of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic at the International Criminal Court, presided over the Independent Court on the Forcible Removal of Organs of Conscience in China, known as the China Court.
This court determined that it was “beyond doubt” that the state-authorized forcible removal of organs for profit has been taking place in China for years and “on a significant scale.”
The Chinese court argued that these organs come primarily from imprisoned believers, most of whom are practitioners of an ancient Chinese discipline called Falun Dafa.
On Sept. 9, 2020, more than 300 NGOs urged the United Nations to establish a mechanism to investigate human rights violations in China. In an open letter, they denounced “China’s mass human rights violations in Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang, suppression of information in the context of the COVID-19 [CCP Virus] pandemic, and attacks on rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, and critics of the government across the country.”
“The international community can no longer sit back and allow the Chinese authorities to trample on human rights at home and abroad,” Joshua Rosenzweig, head of Amnesty International’s China team, said in a statement.