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ICC NOTE: The attempted government takeover of Christianity in China continues as yet another church has been demolished in the “Three Rectifications, One Demolition” campaign. According to China Aid the Island Head Christian Church in Wenzhou was declared illegally built due to the cross being placed too high. Demolition crews proceeded in demolishing the church and the cross after church members protested its destruction. Over the weekend, President Xi Jinping told a conference of religious leaders that Party members must be “Marxist Atheists” and that the religions of China must follow Party leadership. It marks the first time in over three decades a high ranking official in the government has publicly decreed Communist Party members to be Marxist Atheists. 

4/27/2016 Zhejiang, China (China Aid) – Authorities in China’s coastal Zhejiang province demolished a church building on April 13, after reportedly claiming that the church’s cross was positioned too high.

A demolition team consisting of several dozen people tore down Island Head Christian Church in the city of Wenzhou, declaring that the building was illegally constructed. Church leaders and other attendees resisted the demolition at first, but relented after officials threatened the protesters.

One of the church attendees estimated that a value of approximately 3 million Yuan (U.S. $460,000) was lost in the destruction of the three-story church building.

Since 2014, authorities across the Zhejiang province have demolished more than 2,000 church crosses, with at least 50 destroyed in Wenzhou during the month of March alone. The removal of crosses is part of an ongoing “beautification” campaign known as “Three Rectifications and One Demolition.” Authorities often claim that church buildings or crosses have been constructed illegally as justification for the demolitions.

China Aid reports on church demolitions such as the destruction of Island Head Christian Church in order to expose abuses by the Chinese government and promote religious freedom and rule of law.

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