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Law puts end to building
2/8/2006 9:39

A meeting hall built by a group of Christians in Hangzhou was demolished by local officials soon after it was completed at the weekend.

Two people involved in the construction were arrested.

The Christians started work on the building in Xiaoshan District of Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, on July 17.

They finished it on Saturday morning.

Qiu Youlai, director of the district's united front work office, said the building was demolished on Saturday in accordance with the national law on land management.

The building occupied an area on which a commercial center of the suburban district was planned.

The construction was not registered and had no official approval, Qiu said.

The building had broken the law and regulations on land management and city planning, he said.

"Before demolishing the building, the government had negotiated with the Christians and offered a plot of land nearby for their use," Qiu said.

But they refused and continued the construction, he said.

Qiu said the district government carried out the demolition and arrests according to law.

China has more than 15 million Christians.

There are 80,000 in Xiaoshan.

There are more than 25,000 Christian meeting places and 12,000 Christian churches across China.