Zhejiang Religious Persecution Campaign Continues; 3 Crosses Removed
ICC Note: Three churches in China have recently faced the repercussions of China’s “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” campaign by having their crosses removed. Though there have been reports of the campaign ending, Christian churches in China continue to face restrictions and persecution for openly practicing their faith. Along with the three cross removals, another church in the Zhejiang province was threatened with demolition.
By Rachel Ritchie
04/24/2015 China (China Aid) – Despite previous reports of the “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” campaign’s end in China’s coastal Zhejiang, government employees removed three churches’ crosses and threatened another with demolition and a fine earlier this month in a continuation of the province-wide campaign.
Hangzhou Bay Christian Church
During the early morning of April 2, 2015, police arrived at Hangzhou Bay Christian Church, which is in the county-level city of Cixi, in the city of Ningbo, where they removed the cross.
A Christian in the area told China Aid that government officials have been threatening to remove Hangzhou Bay Church’s cross for the last 10 months, along with a number of other churches’ crosses, but that church members have continued to guard the churches since the first threats.
When contacted, a police officer from the Hangzhou Bay Police Station said the cross was “too high” despite the church’s possession of all the necessary paperwork.
Enquan Christian Church
On April 4, 2015, religious affairs bureau employees in Zhenhai District, in the city of Ningbo, removed the cross from the government-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement Enquan Christian Church. The cross was relocated to the side of the church building. Church members noted the significance of the timing, with the harassment occurring the day before Easter.
A local Christian told China Aid that the local government recently held a meeting, stating that the “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” campaign, which affected more than 425 churches, will continue through 2016.