Zhejiang demolitions: Cross destruction continues in Hangzhou, Wenzhou

China Aid Association

(Wenzhou, Zhejiang—Oct. 21, 2014) Churches in Wenzhou and Hangzhou, the capital of the Chinese coastal Zhejiang province, reported cross demolitions on Friday; some Christians told China Aid that only one cross is still standing in the heavily persecuted Wenzhou area.

“On [Friday], the cross of [Kaiyang Church] of Wuniu pastoral region in Yongjia County, Wenzhou was taken down,” a worshipper from Pingyang County, Wenzhou said. “[The cross on] a church in Ouhai District, Wenzhou was also taken down. Now, in Pingyang County, only the cross of Zengzhan Church has not been taken down.”

Local Christians said that more than 300 security agents surrounded Kaiyang Church in Yongjia County between 2-3 a.m. on Friday. While some guards blocked the roads leading to the church, others climbed over the churches wall and opened the gate. Thirty of the officers stood guard over the gate while the remainder entered the church where they removed a middle-aged woman who had been guarding the church and then proceeded to the church’s cross. At 3:30 a.m., a crane removed the church’s red cross and set it on the ground, after which, the security agents left.

Believers reported that Shatantou Church’s cross in Ouhai District, Wenzhou was demolished the same day.

“Only Zengshan Church’s cross has not been taken down [in Pingyang County],” a worshipper said. “Believers from seven or eight pastoral regions in Pingyang are taking turns guarding the cross of Zengshan Church. Now, the only cross listed to be taken down in Pingyang County is Zengshan Church. As many as a hundred people are guarding the place.”

The continuation of the “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” campaign has been in seen in Zhejiang’s capital as well. Several hundred government officials converged on Sandun Church in the Xihu District of Hangzhou of Friday, according to Christians there.

“Now that all the crosses on either side of the highways are gone, why are they still taking down the crosses?” asked Zan Aizong, a freelance journalist and Christian in Hangzhou in reference to previous claims from the government that only churches near highways would be affected in the “beautification” campaign. “All these crosses belonged to Three-Self Patriotic Movement churches. Since they were registered, why do the authorities still want to take down their crosses?”

“The authorities in Zhejiang have never stopped taking down the crosses,” Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, also known as Pastor “Bike,” said. “They have been obstructing the entry of Christian culture into China. This is religious persecution. In taking down these crosses, they resort to violence.”

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