China Cross Removal

China Forces Cross Removals as Speculation Grows on Whether Christians Are a Target

China Cross Removal

Several Christian churches throughout China have been surprised to find that crosses have been removed from their buildings.

The local Chinese government has said that the crosses violate various building codes and statutes. However, the Christians, members of one of the fastest growing religions in China, have said that the cross removals are nothing more than brazen intimidation. As Christians peacefully protest the crane and blowtorch removals, many believe that the entire situation is a result of ideological consolidation in the upper levels of the government, which has been felt throughout the nation since the election of President Xing Jinping.

Widespread Cross Removals

Members of the Longgang Hau En Church were surprised when the government workers showed up to remove the ten foot crucifix from the top of their church. While it had stood on the roof for several years, it had been slated for removal due to violations to building codes, specifically height standards. When Christians and members of the media contacted local officials, though, they did not care to elaborate on the specific violations or why they had suddenly began citing churches. The congregation at the Longgang Hau En Church protested in front of their church, but peacefully stood aside for police believed to number in the thousands who were there to oversee the removal.

This scene is playing out around China, as more and more churches are cited for building code violations and forced to remove the crosses that adorn their steeples. When one church in the Wuxi welded their cross back onto the building the local government shut off its electricity and water supply. This has hampered education efforts in the village and formed what many believe to be a subtle threat of more limitations to come.

Is Christianity Being Targeted?

This seems to be the question on the minds of millions of Christians around the country as a sense of religious suppression is beginning to mount. The increased surveillance on the churches, inquiries into the congregation, and the removal of crosses has caused many people to believe that China is actively trying to curb the sharp increase in the amount of Christians in the nation. There are an estimated 60 million Christians in the country, including those who do not practice at the state-sanctioned churches, all of whom would sooner put the church ahead of the nation, which could be a motivating factor behind the cross removals.  Whether or not the government is actively targeting Christian churches, there are currently another 130 slated to have their crosses removed in the coming weeks. 


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