Church in China converted into shopping mall

Beijing, Sep 29 (IANS) A century-old Protestant church in China’s Hubei province has been converted into a shopping mall and opened for business with incomplete official documents, the media reported on Tuesday.

The Dacheng shopping mall in Wuhan city began a test run on September 26, after its predecessor, the Trinity Protestant Church, which was built in 1910, was demolished in 2013 as a “dangerous building”, the Global Times reported.

The three-storey church covering an area of 6,000 had been cited as one of the three remaining churches in Wuhan whose architecture was a blend of Chinese and Western styles. Some local officials also tried to preserve the building, but it was demolished before a certificate was issued to prove its historical significance.

Construction of the mall began in June 2013 to “prevent the loss of state-owned property”, said Wang Ruimin, an officer from the Wuchang district urban management bureau in Wuhan.

However, Wang said that the mall failed to complete all the formalities and approvals before construction, indicating that the local government will decide the fate of the building

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