ADHRRF – Since the new Religious Affairs Regulations was put into effect on February 1, 2018, crosses of the Three-Self Churches in various regions were subjected to the Chinese authorities’ forced removal. Henan Province became the region suffering most heavy persecution. Moreover, the Chinese regime’s reasons for forced removal of crosses appear more and more ridiculous.
Cross Subjected to Forced Removal for Standing Too Near to Open Road and Catching Eyes
On August 1 of 2018, the cross of the Shangtianyuan Three-Self Church in Yichuan County of Henan Province was forcibly demolished by the authorities of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under the pretext of “the cross being too eye-catching.” As far as we’re concerned, during the forcible action, the local officials warned the director of the Church several times, saying, “Since your church was built too close to the open road and the cross is too eye-catching, the superior government demands its removal.”
At about 4:00 p.m. that day, some local officials took a group of people to the Shangtianyuan Three-Self Church, and directed a mega crane to remove the cross forcibly. Under the pressure of the authorities, believers were in anger and silence. What they could do was pray. On-looking villagers witnessed the whole process, and one after another accused the Chinese regime of its indecent conduct.
By 7:00 p.m. the same day, the process of removal of the cross on the top of the Church had finished.
Cross Subjected to Forced Removal for Standing Above the Villagers’ Committee Office
On May 29, 2018, the Party Committee Secretary of Song County noticed the church in Caomiao Village was very close to the Villagers’ Committee office, and the cross of the church was standing above the office building, so he immediately issued an order to remove the cross of the Church.
But the believers disagreed to have it removed. Then the officials threatened them, saying, “This is one of the state policies, and also a political task. The cross must be demolished.”
On June 1 at about 8:00 a.m., a mega crane hired by the local government came to remove the cross.
Cross Subjected to Forced Removal for Standing Too High
In April 2018, the cross of a church in Mazhai Village in Xinmi City was removed after the Bureau of Religious Affairs issued the order under the pretext of “the cross standing too high.”
As far as we know, the authorities threatened the believers, saying that they would demolish the church if the cross remained. To keep the church, the believers had to agree to have the cross removed.
Some local believers reported that after the cross was removed, the local government had the surveillance cameras installed there: outside the gate, in the courtyard, and over the platform. Now every movement of the congregation is put under the surveillance of the authorities.