Christians across China continue to be persecuted by Communist officials in the ongoing crackdown against houses of worship.
Bitter Winter reports that at least 400 Three-Self and house churches were either demolished, shut down or repurposed in Shangrao City of Jiangxi Province. Additionally, video footage shows a cross being removed from the rooftop of a Shangrao church.
“The central and provincial governments planned to send a team to focus on rectifying Christianity in Yugan county,” a local preacher told Bitter Winter.
He was also told that his church’s cross had to be removed otherwise it would be destroyed.
“If we didn’t do it, the church could have been demolished when the team came,” the preacher added.
Bitter Winter also noted that many of Three-Self churches were transformed into activity centers or libraries.
One director of a Three-Self church reported that local authorities were ordered by the central government to rectify all state-run churches under no exceptions. He told Bitter Winter that churches built or approved after 2014 were told to shut down, despite some of the churches having necessary permits.
In May, a local church built off of the donations of its congregants was destroyed in the Guangxin District.
A Seventh-day Church venue was also forcibly demolished in Huanggu town in the Guangxin district.
One preacher of a Three-Self church who had its cross removed told Bitter Winter that the cross removals across Shangrao’s house of worship are part of a collaborative effort by officials that cannot be stopped.
“We can do nothing about it” he noted. “Resistance would mean facing a gun’s muzzle—we could be accused of more and more serious crimes.”
As Christian Headlines previously reported, other churches in China were permitted to reopen after demonstrating their loyalty to the Communist Party.
Church members also noted that they were to praise President Xi Jinping’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Igor Ilnitckii
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.