Ambassador Bennett Deeply Concerned by Destruction of Church in Wenzhou, China

April 29, 2014 - Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, today issued the following statement:

“I was sincerely saddened to learn of the destruction of the Sanjiang Church by the Yongjia County government in Wenzhou, China. Such actions are deeply concerning, as churches are where Christian communities gather to profess their faith through peaceful prayer and worship. Additionally, churches are important centres for outreach to the broader community, in which they can play an important social function. As such, they should be respected by local authorities and not desecrated in such a grievous manner.

“Canada remains concerned about the state of religious freedom in China. Selective enforcement of planning regulations on religious buildings, while other non-compliant buildings nearby are ignored, is not consistent with the principle of freedom of religion as enshrined in the Chinese constitution.

“The Sanjiang Church congregation is in my thoughts and prayers during this Easter season.”

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