Chinese authorities blow up Christian church…

Authorities in China’s inland province of Shanxi have blown up a Christian church, saying it was illegally constructed.

Associated Press and other media report that local authorities demolished the Golden Lampstand Church in the city of Linfen on Tuesday.

A video shows an explosion reducing the large church to rubble, with people witnessing the scene from afar.

An official of the church says armed police forcibly took apart the building.

US government-backed Radio Free Asia says the church had come under strict monitoring by local authorities. In 2009, leaders of the church were sentenced to prison on such charges as obstructing traffic.

For the past several years, Chinese authorities have reportedly removed crosses at more than 1,200 churches, mainly in Zhejiang Province where many Christians live.

Church officials and lawyers opposing the move have been detained.

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