China: Christians Who Opposed Cross Removals Detained

Peace and Freedom


A crane winching a large red cross from one Guantou’s three domes

A crane winches a large red cross from one of three domes on the Guantou church in Wenzhou, China

Since 2013, over 1,200 crosses have been removed from Christian churches in Zhejiang province and several houses of worship in the region have been demolished. This summer, the removals and demolitions–which local authorities have repeatedly claimed are for “safety reasons” and part of a regional beautification campaign and not representative of a crackdown on Christianity–were castigated by both the government bodies overseeing Christianity in Zhejiang, and by high-ranking regional clergy, and a series of protests were staged.

At The Guardian, Tom Phillips reports that several church activists have now been detained by security forces:

“At least nine people I know have been taken away by the police and that figure is still rising,” a church leader in the eastern province of Zhejiang – the operation’s focus – told the Guardian…

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