by Lindsay Steele
Mission Network News
Over the last months, authorities have removed and dismantled or burned over 1,200 crosses from the roofs of churches, even as they’re saying they want peace.
“The government does not want to see a disharmonious society,” explains Joe Handley of Asian Access. “When they see churches that are putting up these crosses, they feel like that’s a bit of a flagrant kind of expression in the midst of the society at large. The church, on the other hand, sees this as a normal practice of believers [or] people that hold to their faith.”
Christian persecution is nothing new to the country, which is listed at #29 on the Open Doors World Watch List. Pastors have been threatened, chased from their homes, or put under house arrest, and churches have been burned.
While underground churches are used to harassment and oppression, this situation proves to be different. “This time, not only is it the unregistered church, but its also the registered churches that are being affected,” Handley says. The government says the removal of the crosses is simply to enforce building codes and that they want peace; yet every action regarding these churches seems to be saying the opposite.
Protesters have started speaking up for their freedom and rights. Believers are hanging crosses in their windows and wearing them on clothing. Month long sit-ins or demonstrations have also been reported. “Each time they take a cross down, we will put more up,” one Chinese Christian told Guardian Newspaper...