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Crosses torn down from churches in Central China

East Asia

Crosses torn down from churches in Central China

A cross is shown on the roof of a Protestant church in China’s Zhejiang province. Photo Credit: Radio Free Asia – courtesy of a church member

Authorities in Henan province, central China, are escalating their crackdown on Christians, tearing down crosses and forcing churches to close.

Local government officials are also reported to be revoking elderly church members’ pensions and stopping children going to school in an effort to force Christians to renounce their faith. They also threatened to fire Christian civil servants and interfere with Christian-run family businesses.

Officials tore down crosses from churches in Jiaozuo, Shangqiu and Anyang and in mid-April forcibly demolished a church in Gongyi. Church members filmed the demolition, but their cameras were later confiscated.

Police also raided four churches in Zhengzhou and took away Bibles and written prayers. In Jiaozuo, children’s Bibles were confiscated and in Anyang, government employees erected signs stating “minors are not allowed in churches.”

On 4 April 2018, authorities in the city of Anyang in Henan ordered all Christians attending state-registered churches to officially register with the Neighbourhood Committee and give details of their conversion, as well as the religious background of their family members.