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China

Chinese bishop dispels rumors of cathedral demolition

Rumors come amid fears that the government plans to take over a portion of church land in Xi'an

UCA News reporter, Hong Kong

UCA News reporter, Hong Kong

Updated: August 04, 2020 11:07 AM GMT
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Chinese bishop dispels rumors of cathedral demolition

People hold banners in front of the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi in Xi'an in China's Shaanxi province seeking to protect it amid rumors that the government plans to demolish it. (Photo supplied)

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The Archdiocese of Xi'an in China's Shaanxi province has denied rumors that its three-century-old St. Francis Cathedral is facing demolition amid fears of a government move to occupy a portion of church land.

Bishop Anthony Dang Mingyan of Xi'an issued a statement asking Christians not to believe the rumors that the government plans to demolish the cathedral.

The cathedral is a provincial heritage and it will not be demolished, the statement said. Italian missionaries built the church in 1715 as the cathedral of Shaanxi province.

The bishop’s statement came last week amid social media discussions about a government move to demolish the cathedral and take over some prime church land, a source of diocesan income.

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