CHAPTER 1: Destruction of Fushun ChurchIn the early morning hours of Sunday, September 13, Linfen Church members were jolted awake by rowdy, screeching intruders. A mixed mob of 400 police officers, local government officials, and hired thugs beat the church members who were sleeping at the construction site of their new church building. Heavily bleeding, more than 20 members were severely injured and hospitalized. Local officials instructed the hospitals not to give the victims blood transfusions, forcing them to be relocated to regional hospital care. The next day, church members looked on at the massive destruction: 17 buildings on the Good News Cloth Shoes Factory property destroyed; TVs, refrigerators, and appliances looted or smashed personal belongings including money, Bibles, and church documents, pilfered or destroyed. The work of two shovel front-loaders and a bitter and evil mob reduced the new Fushan Church building to rubble.
Yet on Monday, September 14, 2009, only the sweet sound of singing pierced the cloudy day, as over 1,000 members gathered in the pouring rain to pray for Linfen Church. The destruction of Fushan Church, which served as one of 30 church homes to the 50,000 members of Linfen Church in Shanxi, marked the climax of a long-burning hatred by local officials for the vibrant and socially-conscious Linfen House Church community. Linfen Church leaders called on the government to repay the damages to their property and issue a public apology. The Fushan government responded by installing state police guards at numerous house church sites, and banning members from gathering to worship. Water, electricity, and all communications were cut off for neighboring churches, including three-story house church Jin Dengtai (Golden Lampstand) in Linfen.