BY Ryan McDougall | April 29 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

cross

Chinese government removing crosses from church tops, sources claim

Communist authorities in China have been removing the crosses from the tops of Catholic Churches, sources have alleged.

In the Anhui Diocese in China, authorities are alleged to have removed the cross of Our Lady of the Rosary Church on April 18, according to UCA news.

The news comes from a man who identified as ‘John’—who says he is from the diocese.

He said the parish was registered with the government, but that there was no priests or religious present and instead the parish is led by the laity.

Five days before the cross was said to have been removed, ‘John’ said parish leaders approached local authorities about repairing the building, but officials told them they planned to remove crosses from both Catholic and Protestant churches in the area.

Source

On April 16, ‘John’ said the local government asked parishioners for keys to the church, stating they were doing so on the ‘directions from superiors.’

John said ‘they wanted to enter the church and remove the cross,’ adding that they provided no documents to prove that they were indeed acting on behalf of their bosses.

Parishioners then informed Bishop Liu Xinhong of Anhui, who directed them to go to the local Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and ask for information, though they denied having any details on the incident.

It is thought to be the second incident of its kind in the region this month.

Suzhou city

On April 19, a cross was removed from a church in Suzhou City at 4AM, according to a parishioner named ‘Paul.’

The removal took place under police protection, who also refused to allow people into the church and took the mobile phone of one person who stopped to take a picture of the removal.

It’s not just Catholic churches that have been targeted however, as yesterday, authorities tried to remove the cross of a Protestant church in Hefei.

Across China

“The same routine and tactics are used all across China,” said a priest from Anhui, identified only as Father Chen.

“This is not the case of a particular diocese or province. It is happening all over the mainland, but the mainland church is silent.”

“If the churches don’t unite to resist, many more crosses will be removed,” the priest predicted.

China ranks 23rd on Open Doors UK’s list of countries where Christian persecution is most rife.

The organisation was contacted for comment.

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