Chinese Press Confirms Church-Destruction Campaign

KESTON NEWS SERVICE, June 1 — The government-controlled Wenzhou Daily newspaper confirmed that last year's campaign against “feudal superstition” led to the destruction of hundreds of Buddhist, Daoist and Christian temples, shrines and churches at the behest of local Communist Party authorities, the religious-freedom news service reported.

The catalyst for the church-smashing campaign was Chinese President Jiang Zemin's visit to the Wenzhou region in early 2000. Zemin was reportedly horrified to see scores of churches and Buddhist shrines. Wenzhou is known as the “Jerusalem of China” because of its large numbers of Protestant converts.

Wenzhou's religious believers were told to demolish their shrines and churches, and register with the state-controlled “patriotic” religious organizations. When this demand met with almost unanimous refusal, the buildings were destroyed by the state.

Local Christians told Keston that regional Communist Party leaders held a conference in early 2001 at which they expressed shock at the strength of the international outcry against the demolitions.

BBC Cuts Abortion Footage from Election Broadcast

PROLIFE ALLIANCE, May 31 — The British Broadcasting Company refused to show the election broadcast of the Prolife Alliance political party, the party announced.

The government-funded channel required the Alliance to heavily revise its original broadcast, which had shown footage of abortions. But even the revised version, with the grislier images blurred, was rejected. The Alliance called the BBC action “state censorship of the most blatant nature.”

Germany's Bavarian Television recently broadcast an award-winning documentary showing the fetal remains from an early abortion, material similar to the footage rejected by the BBC.

British Pregnancy Advisory Service spokeswoman Ann Furedi called the Prolife Alliance “vile scum” who are “dishonest, manipulative, irrational, ignorant fanatics who patronize women.”

Alliance members Madeline Jeremy and Josephine Quintavallee said that Furedi's comments only helped their position by showing the extremism of pro-abortion activists.

Attacks on Church Increase in Bosnia

HABENA, June 4 — Assaults on Catholic officials and church facilities are increasing in Bosnia, the Bosnian Croat news agency reported.

In the week of May 28 alone, a nun was assaulted in Sarajevo; a church in Drivuca was broken into; an employee of the Catholic humanitarian group Caritas was beaten in Zenica; and Catholic head-stones in the Bijeljina cemetery were toppled.