Plans to Build a New Church in City with Few Christians

By Yi Yang, June 16, 2017 02:06 AM

The cornerstone

Xian'an District is in central Xianning, Hubei. Since Catholicism and Christianity were introduced in the late Qing Dynasty, the church in the district has developed and gone through a period of stagnation. Currently, there are 6,000 Christians, 40 registered churches, and about 60 pastors and preachers in the district with a population of around 700,000.

A worker from Dafan Church told China Christian Daily that his church is located in the center of the district. In the beginning, only a few people gathered in the church founded in 1996, but the church attendance rose to roughly 70 by 1999. During those three years the congregation worshiped God in a rented house. In 1999, it bought a desolate hill. After the believers dug the hill and repaired the road a simple church was completed the same year which could hold 100 people.

In 2014, the attendance of 200 exceeded the church capacity. Consequently, many believers were crowded against one another outside the church and it was inconvenient for them to stand in the summer and on rainy days. Due to a lack of funds, the brick-concrete structure of the two-story church was built with poor quality.

Owing to the rapid urban construction development, the church foundation was severely damaged by long-term surrounding rock blasting and hill excavations initiated by local real-estate developers in recent years. The church was identified as dilapidated by relevant departments in 2014 and was demolished in the same year.

One year later, the local government allocated 1615.29 m2 or 0.399 acres of land to the church. A new church, consisting of a chapel, training building, dormitories, canteen, and parking lot, will be built with a construction area of more than 2000 m2  or 0.494 acres. It is estimated to cost around 3.5 million yuan and the church has raised over 1 million yuan, calling for prayer and donations.

Translated by Karen Luo

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