More than 1200 crosses have been torn down by authorities in the past two years sparking anger and street protests
By; Tom Phillips in Beijing
Date: 27 July 2015
Christian leaders – including an 89-year-old bishop – have taken to the streets of eastern China to
protest against an “evil” campaign to remove crosses that many see as a coordinated Communist party attack on their faith.
Activists say more than 1,200 crosses have been stripped from churches in Zhejiang province since the government initiative began in late 2013. There has been a spike in such actions in recent weeks.
On Friday, around 20 Catholic clergy staged a rare public demonstration in Wenzhou – a coastal city known as the “Jerusalem of the East” – including Vincent Zhu Weifang, its elderly bishop.
Communist party bans believers in province of ‘China’s Jerusalem’
A banner unfurled outside government offices by the group read: “Maintaining religious dignity and opposing the forced removal of crosses”.
Chinese police monitored the two-hour protest but did not break it up, according to UCA News, the Catholic agency.
Zhejiang is home to one of China’s largest Christian congregations with an estimated 300,000 Catholics and one million Protestants split between government-sanctioned and underground “house” churches. [FULL STORY]