Pictures and video circulating online showing a cross that was said to belong to a Henan church on fire caused concern from many Chinese Christians on September 20, 2017.
The Gospel Times contacted the local pastor to find out the exact cause of the fire.
During the fire, a crane was operating, resulting in the inference that the Holy Grace Church in Tanghe County, Henan, was forcibly demolished.
However, although the building had been complete for years, the church failed to go through all the legal procedures. The reason for not being officially registered was that the local government was too busy with other affairs to review the church documents.
The church then decided to construct the facility while settling the formalities, but the procedures were not completed even after construction. The church still kept a tight connection with the local government, but it was illegal for Christians to gather in the church.
In the negotiation process with the church, the local authority proposed removing the cross during the approval of the registration and the church agreed.
Concerning the fire, the local church said that a gas cylinder blew, leading to the fire, when a worker cut down the cross with a torch. Fortunately there were no injuries.
The church is currently in negotiations with the local authority and needs to provide more material to legalize its facility. The church leader called on prayer for the legalization.
- Translated by Karen Luo