State-Approved Catholic Church to be Demolished in Xinjiang

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Despite being a state-sanctioned Catholic church and receiving praise from the local authorities, the Sacred Heart Church in Xinjiang’s Yining is due to be demolished.

The church, constructed in 2000, received all the necessary permits and had local officials attend its dedication ceremony. In February 2018, the authorities already forcibly removed its crosses, along with four bas-reliefs that adorned the facade, the two statues of St. Peter and St. Paul on the sides of the building, and its two domes and bell towers; now it is asking the church to clear out everything on February 19.

According to Asia News, while the authorities did not disclose the reason for the demolition, most suspect that the church is being destroyed to use the land and build a commercial area in its place. In fact, the church stands along the road that leads to the airport and in the urban plans, this road will become increasingly important.