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Damage to historic Shanghai church is part of a 'plot'

A file image of St. Francis Xavier Church in Dongjiadu, central Shanghai, which will be closed for two years to allow reconstruction work to be performed. ( photo) reporter, Hong Kong

September 22, 2016

Construction work surrounding a 164-year-old church in central Shanghai has caused damage and disrupted Masses say parishioners in what some see is part of a plot between developers and local officials seeking church property.

Situated on prime land, St. Francis Xavier Church, the former cathedral of Jiangnan Vicariate, developed cracks in its floor and walls, which parishioners say was the result of neighboring construction work that began in 2014.

"During Sunday Masses, construction around the church really causes disturbances," said one local Catholic. "You can hear the noise and feel the obvious vibration made by the construction machines."

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