China christianity crackdown: Crosses torn down and Jesus replaced with communist figures
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Churches in Anhui, Jiangsu, Hebei and Zhejiang have been forcefully ordered to take down religious symbols by authorities who continue to clampdown on religious activity, according to Radio Free Asia. While churches in Shanxi have been ordered to take their religious symbols down and replace them with images of communist leaders.
The news comes after China Aid revealed more than 100 government officials turned up Aodi Christian Church and Yinchang Christian Church in the early hours of the morning.
Christians in Wenzhou said they arrived with cranes, broke the church locks, and entered the churches.
They were also accused of destroying church property.
Church members say they tried to stop the officials, but several security guards beat them, resulting in several injuries.
China Aid claims a man in his eighties was shoved to the ground.
Crosses at both churches were removed.
Xi Jinping’s Chinese Communist Party has launched a major crackdown on religion, including Christianity, attempt to oppress religious freedom and exercise control.
It comes at a time when the superpower faces fresh allegations of the existence of concentration camps for Uighur Muslims in the country after drone footage came to light last week.
Terrifying footage of shackled and blindfolded individuals has emerged from China, providing more evidence of human rights abuses by the country.
Xi’s regime is officially atheist with more than half of China’s 1.4billion population not associated with any religion or belief.
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His communist party strictly monitors religion with Christians expected to attend state-approved churches.
Some 57,000 churches belong to the Chinese Communist Party which also forbids teachers and soldiers from becoming Christians.
Under Chinese law it is also illegal for minors to receive religious education.
Churches not sanctioned by the government have been put under surveillance with hundreds of Christians arrested for disturbing public order for offences such as holding bible study groups and displaying crucifixes outside their homes.
There have been reports of churchgoers being banned from praying, singing hymns, crosses removed from buildings and people arrested for attending church services
The Chinese Communist Party also decided how many people can be baptised each year and what can be preached.
But despite the hard line from the government, Christianity continues to grow.
It is thought China will have the world’s largest Christian population by 2020.
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