ADVERTISING
 
Saturday, February 23   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Bible literacy
How often do you read the Bible?







SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



China
 
 

Chinese province bans crosses on church roofs

While the draft for the ban is yet to be approved, authorities have removed nearly 400 crosses from the rooftops of churches since early 2014.

SOURCES Christianity Today, Premier Christianity AUTHOR Evangelical Focus ZHEJIANG 12 MAY 2015 09:48 h GMT+1
At least 12 crosses have been forcibly removed from churches in the city of Lishui / ChinaAid

Days after at least a 12 crosses were forcibly removed from churches in the city of Lishui, burning one when a removal machine malfunctioned; China formally filed a diplomatic protest over this year's annual report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which labeled Chinese religious freedom violations “severe” and “systematic.”



Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying denied these accusations: "This report ... is full of political bias and makes arbitrary and unfounded criticism of China”, she told news outlets in a daily briefing. She also said that Chinese citizens had "ample" freedom religious freedom under law.



Bu now a proposal has surfaced to ban crosses entirely from the rooftops of churches in Zhejiang, one of China's most Christian provinces.



This comes after hundreds of crosses were removed from churches in the region in 2014. Zhejiang officials have toppled crosses from more than 400 churches, sometimes resulting in violent clashes with congregation members.



 



Government workers remove a cross in Zhejiang city of Lishui / ChinaAid



Authorities have said the crosses violate building codes. "They might have been removed or modified or covered in some way, shape or form because a cross obviously identifies the church building”, they stated



Andy Dipper from anti-persecution charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide responded to this in Premier Christianity: “It is deeply offensive to Christians for those crosses to be removed because it just demarcates the building just to any other building.”



"These are really concerning times and we really want to raise the profile of what's happening to people in Zhejiang province, and to call people to pray", he added.



According to USCIRF's 2015 report, China designated some house churches “cults” and then issued a directive to “eradicate” them over the next 10 years. One example: more than 100 Christians were arrested during a single raid on a house church last year in Foshan City.



 



2014, THE WORST YEAR FOR CHINESE CHRISTIANS



Last August, Beijing authorities called Christian pastors and religious scholars into meetings to deliver an edict that the Christian faith must be free of foreign influence but "adapt to China", a euphemism for obeying the Communist Party.



China Aid’s 2014 report, released last month, said that persecution in China increased 150 percent over the course of last year, with nearly 3,000 detained and close to 1,300 sentenced.



A cross removed from a Wenzhou-area church / China Aid

However, Open Doors believed that “there is a surprising weight of counter-evidence that suggests a vigorous debate is going on in the Chinese government over whether it should restrict or free the church. If Christianity can sound, look and be Chinese enough, we might just see the church continuing to be invited to play a fuller role in the building of the new China”.



Despite this optimism, the events of the past year caused China to shoot from No. 37 to No. 29 on Open Doors’ 2015 World Watch List.



And stories of more removals continued to surface. The Chinese government now says it will not stop the campaign until 2016.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Chinese province bans crosses on church roofs
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Christians in Venezuela: Citizens and children of God Christians in Venezuela: Citizens and children of God

Prayer, truth, dialogue between the parties and justice are some of the actions of the Church in Venezuela.

 
10,000 signatures ask for action to release Nigerian Christian Leah Sharibu 10,000 signatures ask for action to release Nigerian Christian Leah Sharibu

After one year in captivity, “the least we can do is to stand with her, to protest and to pray until we see her released”, says Mervyn Thomas of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

 
Lindsay Brown: 3 challenges for the church today Lindsay Brown: 3 challenges for the church today

In an interview, Lindsay Brown analyses three challenges for the church in Europe and elsewhere and how they can be turned into opportunities for the gospel.

 
Can science explain everything? Can science explain everything?

A debate about science and faith between Oxford Emeritus Professor of Mathematics John Lennox and Oxford Emeritus Professor in Chemistry Peter Atkins. Moderated by journalist Justin Brierley.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.