Update to CHN36959.E of 12 April 2001 on the churches in Changle that were destroyed in 1999 and whether there is any reports of a newly erected church in Zhanggang Town (Ludingcun or Xian Qi Cun village); any arrests of church members/leaders in Zhanggang Town [CHN39915.E]

No information on the destruction of churches in Changle city in 1999 further to that contained in CHN36959.E of 12 April 2001 could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

While no reference to the erection of a new church or to any arrests of church members or leaders in Zhanggang Town could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate, the following information may be of interest.

A 21 May 2002 article reported that two unofficial Catholic churches in two villages on the outskirts of Changle city had been destroyed by police on 19 May 2002 in what was described as an "ongoing crackdown on underground religion" (AFP). A local resident, who was the source of the information, reportedly refused to name the villages as he feared further repercussions for the residents (AFP 21 May 2002). The article further reported that the authorities had also detained and questioned 20 to 30 priests from local churches for approximately 10 days (ibid.).

Although the local police and religious affairs officials denied the claims, a priest at a government-approved Catholic church in Changle claimed that "some type of crackdown" was being undertaken, further stating that a church within the city had been shut down on 19 May 2002 (ibid.). No further references to the arrest of priests in Changle city could be found among the sources consulted.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Agence France Presse (AFP). 21 May 2002. "Police Demolish Unofficial Catholic Churches in China's Fujian Province." (FBIS-CHI-2002-0521 21 May 2002/WNC)

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases


Internet sites, including:

Amnesty International

Cardinal Kung Foundation

Free Church for China

Freedom House

Human Rights in China

Human Rights Internet

Human Rights Watch

International Christian Concern

International Religious Freedom Report for 2001

World News Connection (WNC)

Search engine: