Numerous crosses atop churches in China were recently removed by the Chinese Communist government which asserted that religious symbols cannot be raised “higher” than the Chinese national flag, The Christian Post reports.
Religious liberty magazine Bitter Winter has reported on numerous cross removals across China over the years. In mid-March, the outlet pointed out that crosses were removed from multiple churches in the eastern provinces of Jiangsu and Anhui and in the neighboring Shandong, the prefecture-level city of Linyi.
As reported by Christian Headlines, In February, officials removed a cross from a government-approved Three-Self church in Hexi village. In 2007, the church was built in compliance with state regulations, implementing the four requirements of the government’s religion “sinicization” campaign.
Despite canceled church gatherings because of COVID-19, churches were still removed.
“The government does not provide enough help during the epidemic but instead demolishes crosses,” a local believer told Bitter Winter.
In December, additional crosses from Three-Self churches were removed in Hegang, out in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.
One church member in the city’s Dongshan district told Bitter Winter that a local official threatened to close down the church if the cross was not removed because “it was higher than the national flag.” Read more here.