Religious intolerance: China now 'orders' Christians to destroy crosses on their churches and take down images of Jesus

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 23 Jul 2020

Beijing: In what can be seen as an aggressive stance taken by China to destroy religious tolerance in the country, authorities have directed some Christians to smash the crosses on their churches and remove images of Jesus from their homes, media reports said.

Government authorities in Shanxi, China, are ordering people who receive government assistance to replace religious symbols in their homes, including pictures of Jesus, with pictures of Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping. Refusal to comply results in the assistance being taken away, reports Catholic News Agency.

The policy also applies to members of state-run churches. A member of the Three-Self Church, which is the Chinese Communist Party’s official Protestant denomination, told Bitter Winter as quoted by the news agency that images of Jesus and a religious calendar were taken down from his house and replaced with images of Chairman Mao. 

According to a message posted by a believer in Jiangsu on WeChat Moments, the cross of the Christian Church in Shiwan, Fengtai County, Huainan, Anhui, is facing demolition, reports Radio Free Asia.

Last Saturday and this Sunday, local officials in charge of religion attempted to demolish the cross of the church. A believer resisted. These believers stood outside the gate of the church, obstructing the demolition, reports the news portal.

The believers of the church said that a week ago, officials asked the church to remove the cross on its own, but the believers refused. In addition, two believers from Quzhou, Zhejiang, preached the gospel in Fuzhou, Jiangxi, and were placed in administrative detention by the police for 10 days, it said.

A pastor from Henan said to Radio Free Asia: “There is more than one brother, but two brothers have just been released. They are from Quzhou, Zhejiang. They go to preach the gospel, distribute gospel leaflets there, and distribute gospel fans. (Police) took it. The believer was detained in Fuzhou, Jiangxi."

Not only Christians, China has been criticized for reportedly holding up to one million ethnic Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in "re-education camps" under the pretext of fighting terrorism and religious extremism as of last summer.

Beijing has denied the existence of "re-education camps" on numerous occasions, insisting that the country is fully complying with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

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