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Officials demolish a third church in Jinan

SHANDONG (UCAN): Qianwang Catholic Church in Huashan town, Jinan, in Shandong province, China, was demolished by authorites on August 13, with more than 170 officials engaged in the action.
The church is the third in the Diocese of Jinan to be subjected to the wreckers’ ball. Liangwang Catholic Church was bulldozed on July 17 following the demolition of Shilihe Catholic Church (Sunday Examiner, August 12), however a Catholic source said that the latter would be rebuilt in another location.
The source said the authorities “had no explanation or solution and then forcibly demolished it.” A Marian statue and a statue of Jesus were destroyed, while the church’s alms box disappeared.
The source accused officials of flouting the law, regulations on religious beliefs and the basic demands of the faithful, adding that such a barbaric demolition seriously hurt the trust of the faithful in the local authority.
A day after the demolition, more than 70 people including two priests and a nun braved heavy rain to launch a protest in front of the offices of the local government’s.
They held banners asking for the return of the church and “the home of our soul” and requesting a reasonable explanation for the demolition.
The source said parish priests were later called to meet Licheng officials, who promised to relocate the Liangwang and Qianwang churches. “It may take a long time but they emphasised it will be arranged,” he added.
Qianwang Church was built in 1750 and reconstructed after it was destroyed by a flood.

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