By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
BEIJING, CHINA (Worthy News)– Thousands of Christians formed a human shield around the newly-constructed Sanjiang Christian Church in Zhejiang Province after several hundred police officers with bulldozers threatened to demolish it, according to International Christian Concern.
The standoff at the church reportedly began after a visiting Communist Party secretary said the church was too large.
"When the Party secretary Xia Baolong visited the local areas, he found the cross on top of the church very conspicuous. So he ordered that it be demolished," church leader Zheng Leguo told ChinaAid.
The standoff was unusual in that Sanjiang Church is part of China's Three-Self Patriotic Movement and that its congregation was officially sanctioned by the Communist state.
"We call on the authorities in Zhejiang Province to immediately rescind their orders for the demolition of Sanjiang Christian Church," said Ryan Morgan, International Christian Concern's Regional Manager for East Asia. "This church was legally constructed and has every right to exist in a nation which strongly claims, at least in the international community, to respect the religious freedom of its citizens. No one of any faith should have to place their life between a bulldozer and their house of worship. ICC stands with the Christians of Zhejiang Province as they take this courageous stand to protect their rights."