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China: Communist Party forcibly removes the cross of 100-year-old Shuixin Church

Persecution of Christians in China: On June 11, reported that Chinese authorities had removed 250 crosses from churches in Anhui province. By August, that number had exceeded 900. As we have reported here for quite some time, the Chinese government is in the midst of an all-out campaign to destroy Christianity and create a pseudo-Christianity that is entirely subservient to the Chinese Communist Party, and that doesn’t teach anything that would lead Chinese people away from Communist Party dogma. This leads to the constant harassment of Christians such as is seen in this article.

This is a matter of grave concern for Orthodox Christians in China and all other Christians as well. Holy Orthodoxy in China predates this war on Christianity. It has a three-hundred year history in China, with the first Orthodox Christians coming into the country in 1685. In the 1980s, the Chinese Orthodox Church began to experience a revival. If crosses can be removed from Three-Self churches, they can be removed from Orthodox churches as well.

The Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, requests once again that the Chinese government end these repressive measures, grant official recognition to the Chinese Orthodox Church, and give full religious freedom to all the Christians of that nation.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in China, see here.

“Update: ChinaAid strongly condemns CCP’s forcible removal of cross of 100-year-old Shuixin Church,” by Fang Baoluo, ChinaAid, February 2, 2021:

(Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province—Feb. 02, 2021) At mid-night on February 1, approximately 100 Chinese security guards forcibly removed the cross of the 100-year-old Shuixin Church in Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province. Believers attending this church reported their rejection of local government officials’ request to remove the cross from their church’s roof escalated to authorities forcibly removing it.

During the forced removal process which took approximately two hours to complete, more than 10 government-contracted men used a crane to hoist the cross from the church roof. Several hours earlier on January 31, around 11:30 pm, Zhou Qingquan (deputy secretary of Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Yaoxi subdistrict, Longwan district) and Hu Xiandong (commissioner of unit front work department, Yaoxi subdistrict, Longwan district) rushed into the church with approximately 100 security guards. After cutting off the electricity, the team hurriedly took the church’s night watch staff into custody.

A Christian observer reported:

Several security guards held one church co-worker in a headlock and confiscated his cell phone. They warned him, “Do not fight back. We are enforcing orders from higher officials.”

One security guard threatened to beat a church co-worker, but another officer stopped him.

The forcible cross removal began at 11:30 pm on January 31 and ended at 1:35 am, February 1.

One believer attending Shuixin church posted on social media:

The CCP has forcibly removed Shuixin church’s cross several times in the past. During the first cross removal at 2 pm on June 30, 2014, the Zhejiang government had launched a campaign called “Renovation of old residential areas, old industrial plants and urban-villages, and demolishing of illegal buildings.”

Government contractors forcibly removed the cross from Shuixin church in the name of “demolishing of illegal buildings.”…

Mr. Wang, one more local Believer, did not try to hide his anger when he said: “Government officials claim a cross on a church roof top makes the city look bad and blocks a driver’s sight. They refused to approve for Shuixin Church to put the cross on its roof top.”…

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