Last Friday, members of Wugaozhuang Church of Guantao in Hebei Province were left horrified when government officials notified them of their church’s impending destruction. As Faithwire previously reported, the demolition had been ordered on account of the church, which is state-mandated, not being in possession of all the required permits.
But in a risky bid to sway the government away from the action, church members decided to organize a stakeout, refusing to leave the site.
Now, it appears that this brave show of defiance has paid off.
After a series of negotiations between parish priests and government officials, an agreement has been reached.
“Eventually, the state officials relented and promised to provision [sic] the church a new parcel of land and 200,000 Yuan to rebuild a church building upon that land,” reported persecution watchdog, International Christian Concern. “The priests have demanded the land be granted immediately in return for relinquishing the present church building, although it is presently unknown whether or not the land promised has been turned over.”
During the stakeout, police reportedly blocked those attempting to deliver food to the faithful inside the building.
“Local police blockaded the scene and prohibited anyone from entering or leaving,” a parishioner told UCA News. “Even food was not allowed in to coerce the priests and church members into giving up the protest.”
Considering the government’s relentless campaign of destruction against churches across the country, this will be viewed as a win for the embattled congregation, who refused to be cowed by the brutal state forces.
Do continue to pray for all those who face persecution on account of their religious beliefs.