Chinese government continues to target crosses on churches

Monday, April 13, 2020

by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - The Chinese government has continued its campaign of removing crosses from churches in recent months, citing bizarre reasons in support of the "sinicization" of religion begun by President Xi Jinping.

Bitter Winter reports that believers at Ranfang church in Henan province in November were told by the government that "the Communist Party gives you food and money, not God" shortly before their cross was removed.

In Hegang, a city in Heilongjiang province, on the other hand, crosses were taken down from Christ Gospel Church and Luebei Christian Church in December because they "were too eye-catching" and might "attract people into the churches."

“The government does not provide enough help during the epidemic but instead demolishes crosses,” one Chinese believer told Bitter Winter.

The Three-Self Patriotic Movement and China Christian Council, communist state organs that control religion in China, released a statement forbidding their members from meeting in person or online in Shandong province, but Bitter Winter reports that even a Three-Self church in Hexi Village that toed the government party line and followed all of these regulations had its cross removed in February.

China is ranked 23rd on Open Doors USA's World Watch List for persecution of Christians but has developed fairly advanced ways of tracking believers through surveillance technology and by encouraging self-policing among citizens.