Shocking video of the destruction of an unregistered Chinese church has been smuggled out of China to a persecution watchdog group.

The Tu Du Sha Church in Zhejiang Province was bulldozed to the ground June 26, reports the Voice of the Martyrs.

The church, in Hangzhou City, was founded around 1930 by the group launched in the 19th century by famed missionary Hudson Taylor, China Inland Mission.

Weekly attendance had grown to 1,500.

Police first arrived before 4 a.m. expecting the church to be empty, VOM said. Instead, they found 300 Christians gathered for prayer. The police left, but returned just before 8 a.m. with 200 military policemen and more than 40 vehicles.

In spite of the protests of church members, the church was completely destroyed, the Oklahoma-based group said. A Chinese Christian covertly videotaped the entire scene, and the video was smuggled out of the country.

“In our 36 years of ministry, we’ve never had a videotape like this,” said Tom White, VOM’s U.S. director.

“This tape shows how the Chinese government treats Christian groups that refuse to register,” he said.

Segments of the video can be viewed on this page.

As WorldNetDaily reported in November, about 3,000 Christians in China were cut off from 125 places of worship in a continuing crackdown on religious activity outside the control of the Communist government.

The Chinese government considers all Protestant churches outside the official government-controlled Three-Self Patriotic Movement to be subversive. The official churches are restricted, to varying degrees around the country, in their doctrine and practice. The vast majority of Protestants are in “underground” churches. Catholics also are restricted to a government-controlled church, which does not recognize the authority of the pope.

WorldNetDaily reported earlier in Novmeber a Chinese Christian man was severely beaten after arriving at a “re-education through labor” camp, and a believing woman died after apparently being roughed up by police, according to VOM.

Zhang Yi-nan was assaulted at the Ping Ding Shan City labor camp on the first day of his two-year sentence.

The man arrested with Zhang, Xiao Bi-guang, was released from prison in October after publicity from his case elicited the prayers and protests of Christians worldwide.

Xiao was arrested Sept. 26 in Beijing and accused of “subverting” the Chinese government and “socialist system,” according to VOM. The group said Xiao attributes his release to publicity that came to the attention of Chinese authorities. A policeman reportedly asked him: “How did you get your story on the Internet?”

A source inside the Beijing Public Security Bureau, the agency involved in many arrests of Christians, told VOM sources, “Zhang doesn’t have a criminal problem. He has a mind problem. He is too superstitious.”

International protest apparently pressed China’s communist government to finally notify Xiao’s wife that he had been arrested.

Related stories:

China shuts down 125 churches

Report: Police beat Christian to death

Protests help release Chinese Christian

Beijing bows to pressure on captured Christian,

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