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Updated: Zhejiang demolishes crosses, causing concern about new wave of persecution



Friday, February 5, 2016

A demolished church cross. (Photo:
China Aid)
China Aid
By Brynne Lawrence

Updated 2:28 p.m. CDT on Feb. 9, 2016

(Wenzhou, Zhejiang—Feb. 5, 2016) Groups totaling more than 100 government officials broke into two churches in China’s coastal Zhejiang province and demolished their crosses on the early morning of Jan. 28.

According to reports from local Christians, authorities secretly entered Shangye Village Church in Rui’an, Wenzhou and Funan Church in Jiaxing and simultaneously demolished their church crosses. Police controlled Christians who congregated outside to protest.

From Jan. 25–27, authorities also destroyed six more church crosses, triggering speculation
concerning a new wave of persecution.

“A few clergymen are now being held,” a local Christian said. “There has been no information from them. Even their families can’t contact them. The [number of] demolished crosses has now reached 1,800.”

In Jan. 2014, Zhejiang’s government launched the “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” campaign with the objective of either correcting or demolishing “illegal structures.” It quickly became clear, however, that the initiative’s true focus was churches, crosses and other religious sites.

According to local Christians, officials have removed 18 crosses since the beginning of this year.

Church attendees noted that current attempts to destroy church crosses deviate slightly in method from previous ones. In the past, government bureaus notified church members of plans to demolish a cross. Lately, the officials prefer to secretly dismantle crosses without delivering any prior notification.

Additionally, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) is pressuring house church attendees to destroy their own church’s cross. According to a TSPM staff member, the organization dispatched him to a rural church in order to personally encourage church attendees to carry out destruction efforts.

A list of churches demolished since Jan. 1 can be read in full below.

China Aid reports cases such as this one to expose violations of religious freedom and promote freedom of religion and rule of law in China.



A list of churches demolished in Zhejiang since Jan. 1

1. On Jan. 7, Nanhu Church’s cross was destroyed in Wenzhou, Zhejiang.
2. On Jan. 7, Wutian Dongzhuang Church’s cross was demolished in Lucheng District, Wenzhou.
3. On Jan. 11, Luofu Church’s re-erected cross was demolished in Yongjia County, Wenzhou.
4. On Jan. 14, Dongmen Church’s cross was demolished in Pingyang County, Wenzhou.
5. On Jan. 18, the cross on Wuniu Church’s Shanhou Chapel was demolished in Yongjia County, Wenzhou.
6. On Jan. 25, Songqiao Church’s cross was demolished in Pingyang County, Wenzhou.
7. On Jan. 25, Xiuyang Church’s cross was demolished in Pingyang County, Wenzhou.
8. On Jan. 26, Qingkeng Church’s cross was demolished in Pingyang County, Wenzhou.
9. On Jan. 27, Waipu Church’s cross was demolished in Pingyang County, Wenzhou.
10. On Jan. 27, the cross at Baziqiao Christian Church’s meeting place was demolished in Cangnan County, Wenzhou.
11. On Jan. 27, two church crosses were demolished in Cangnan County, Wenzhou. It has been reported that there were other church crosses demolished within the county, but specific data needs to be verified.
12. On Jan. 28, several crosses were demolished in Yongjia County, Wenzhou. Specific data is not available.
13. On Jan. 28, Funan Church’s cross was demolished in Jiaxing, Zhejiang.
14. On Jan. 28, Shangye Church’s cross was demolished in Rui’an, Wenzhou.
15. On Jan. 29, Waipu Church’s re-erected cross was demolished again in Pingyang County, Wenzhou.
16. On Jan. 29, Zhenguangtou Church’s cross was demolished in Pingyang County, Wenzhou.
17. On Jan. 29, Xiaqiao Church’s cross was demolished in Pingyang County, Wenzhou.

18. On Jan. 29, Dongan Aodi Church’s cross was demolished in Yongjia County, Wenzhou.


China Aid Media Team
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