|As the Chinese government bombed the mega Golden Lampstand Church in Shanxi, China Jan. 9, a passerby caught captured the explosion on a cellphone, BBC reported. The church was home to 50,000 worshippers.|
Screen capture from BBC (Baptist Press)
By Diana Chandler - Posted at Baptist Press:
SHANXI, China (BP) -- The bombing demolition of a megachurch in China is indicative of a rush to silence Christianity under new laws that will heighten religious persecution, according to human rights group ChinaAid.
The Golden Lampstand Church in Linfen, Shanxi, was home to some 50,000 worshippers before the Chinese government bombed and demolished the church Jan. 9, according to news reports.
Religious persecution is at its harshest in communist China in perhaps 50 years, ChinaAid President Bob Fu told BBC News Jan. 11.
The bombing shows "the increasingly deteriorating situation of religious freedom and rule of law in China" under President Xi Jinping, "which many suggest is the worst since the end of the cultural revolution," Fu told the BBC Jan. 11. "I mean, all the leaders of this church were arrested since this church was built in 2009, and they were sentenced from one to seven years' imprisonment for building this church, and many of them were even tortured.