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China: In recent years, over 1,500 crosses torn down from churches in Zhejiang, new cross demolitions set to begin

For background on Orthodox Christianity in China, see here.

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

“China Cracks Down on Every Symbol of Religion,” Mission Box, October 3, 2023:

China is tightening its grip on the church in tough new measures designed to limit religious freedom. From September, new rules limit all religious activities to official venues only and prevent the display of religious symbols outdoors.

Partners of UK-based Release International, which supports persecuted Christians, say the government wants to bring all aspects of religion under the control of the Communist Party, which is officially atheist. They say the new measures amount to a complete ban on religious activities, and are an attempt to suffocate the underground church, where Christians meet in secret to find freedom of worship.

In recent years, more than 1,500 crosses have been torn down from authorised churches in Zhejiang province alone, and Release International’s partners report a fresh way wave of cross demolitions is set to begin. Other churches have been told to remove signs on their walls referring to Jesus, Emmanuel and Jehovah. Anyone who runs a religious venue must now demonstrate their love for the motherland and their support for the Communist Party of China. Church sermons must reflect China’s politics rather than religious doctrines and any clergy members who refuse face disqualification….

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