Tags: Religion | china | cross | church | Zhejiang | removal

Chinese Clergy Denounce 'Evil' Stripping of Crosses From Churches

Image: Chinese Clergy Denounce 'Evil' Stripping of Crosses From Churches
(Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 28 Jul 2015 08:55 AM

Christian leaders are protesting throughout eastern China after more than 1,200 crosses have been ripped down from churches in Zhejiang province, one of the most heavily Christian populated territories in eastern China, The Guardian reports.

The government initiative to remove all crosses, which began in 2013, is being referred to as an "evil act" that has "caused great resentment and anger among clergy and believers," the Guardian says.

While some see the act as a coordinated communist attack on their faith, outrage and frustration are increasing, causing both Catholic and Protestant leaders from Wenzhou’s official church to write an open letter on the issue.

"Removing crosses means destroying believers' faith as well as destroying love and indulging hatred," the letter states.

"Each time they take a cross down, we will put more up," the Zhejiang church leader said. "We are even considering making flags and clothes with cross patterns. We will make the cross flourish throughout China."

Chinese authorities insist the removals are due to illegal building practices and not an attack on religion. However, many people believe President Xi Jinping approved the removals after he warned that religion should be independent from foreign influence.

According to the Guardian, the "evil" campaign is receiving international attention, and many wish for President Barack Obama to discuss the issue with President Xi when he visits the United States for the first time in September.

GOP presidential candidate and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also commented on the issue following a congressional hearing last week, when he said, "Without question, religious freedom is under assault in China."

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Christian leaders are protesting throughout eastern China after more than 1,200 crosses have been ripped down from churches in Zhejiang province, one of the most heavily Christian-populated territories in eastern China, The Guardian reports.
china, cross, church, Zhejiang, removal
263
2015-55-28
Tuesday, 28 Jul 2015 08:55 AM
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