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ICC Note: Local authorities in China used crane to demolish the cross of the Holy Grace Protestant Church in Henan province. Chinese authorities have stepped up their persecution against Christian churches in recent years, especially in regions that have high Christian population. It has been estimated that at least 2000 crosses have been demolished in Zheijang province alone since 2013. Even though this is the first church in Henan province to have its cross forcibly taken down, it is clear that the Communist party is becoming increasingly hostile to the practice of Christian faith.

09/22/2017 China (La Croix) – Following the demolition of church crosses by local authorities in China’s Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces in recent years, Henan has now become the third province where this has occurred.

Even though the Holy Grace Protestant Church in Tang He county was officially registered, local authorities used a crane to demolish its cross on September 20.

A video is circulating online showing the cross on fire after it was purportedly ignited by sparks during removal.

Ying Fuk-tsang, director of the Divinity School at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told that as far as he knows this was the first church in Henan to have its cross forcibly taken down.

A pattern seemed to be emerging, but it was unclear whether the removal of crosses was being ordered by the central government, he said.  Ying was unaware if prior notice was given before the latest incident.

But the targeting of crosses as religious symbols appeared to be in accord with national policies, particularly regarding major provinces where Christianity is booming such as Zhejiang and Henan.

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