ICC Note: This article traces the campaign of cross removals and entire church demolitions in Zhejiang Province to the “sinicization” policy laid out by Chinese President Xi Jinping in May. However, crosses were being removed, and entire churches razed, long before that time. “Sinicization” is just the latest excuse used by government officials to try to justify the overt persecution of Christians in China.
By UCANews.com reporter (Hong Kong)
07/07/2015 China (UCANews.com)
A Chinese government-led cross demolition campaign has spread from Wenzhou to other dioceses in Zhejiang province with five Catholic churches having their crosses removed last week.
The crosses on churches in Songmun, Xinhe, Muyu and Dasi of Taizhou diocese as well as the Xiaoshan Sacred Heart of Jesus Church of Hangzhou diocese were demolished July 2.
Authorities said the crosses were removed in order to “Sinicize” the churches, a local source in Taizhou told ucanews.com. “When we asked the officials what means by “Sinicize” the churches, they said they did not know either but they have to remove the crosses anyway,” he added.
“It is obviously an action directed against Christianity,” the source said.
“Sinicization” of religion was first mentioned by Chinese President Xi Jinping during the central United Front Work Department meeting in May.
Under the policy, churches must adapt to Chinese society by using symbols that reflect Chinese culture under Communist rule.
In late 2013, the Chinese government embarked on a demolition campaign, with a number of high-profile demolitions of Protestant churches.