ICC Note: It appears that the Chinese Government’s response to what it sees as a challenge to its authority is to remove that ability to challenge. It is unfortunate that provincial government leaders and leaders of the local Christian church cannot meet to discuss and resolve these issues.
By UCANews.com reporter in Hong Kong
07/17/2015 China (UCANews.com)
Provincial authorities in Zhejiang have removed the official seal of the local Christian Council after the council issued a statement demanding an end to the campaign to remove church crosses.
The open letter demanded that the provincial government “stop immediately such ridiculous acts that split the party and the people.”
The statement added that more than 1,200 churches have had crosses removed in the past 18 months and that this had hurt the sentiment of more than 2 million Protestants.
The Protestant council issued their statement July 10 five days after provincial Catholic Church leaders released a similar report.
“Shortly after the letter was issued, the Zhejiang Ethnic and Religious Affair Commission demanded that the Christian Council withdraw it. It removed the council’s official seal after that demand was rejected,” said a Protestant preacher in Wenzhou who identified himself as Luke.
A Chinese researcher who requested anonymity told ucanews.com that this confiscation of the official seal is tantamount to “removing” some of the council’s authority.
“It cannot issue another statement of protest as the seal represents the validity of an official document,” he explained.