Following the widespread removal of crosses in Henan, local governments in Jiangxi Province have also ordered to implement such removals; quite often using reasons that are hard to comprehend.
In May 2018, the cross was forcibly removed from a government-approved Three-Self Gospel Church in Gaotang village of Baima township in the city of Shangrao. The local government threatened to withhold five million RMB of appropriation for village construction to coerce the local villagers into dismantling the church’s cross.
On August 2, authorities forcibly removed the cross from Enzhu Church in Menghui village, Kangle town, Yichun city on the grounds that “the cross was higher than the national flag.” According to members of the congregation, the authorities deployed more than 50 special police officers that day to prohibit believers from protesting against the demolition.
On August 7, authorities in Xinyu city forcibly removed the cross from a local Si’en Church that also belongs to the China Patriotic Three-Self Movement, citing an absurd reason that “the cross was higher than the church roof.” The authorities also threatened the believers, saying that if they continued to believe in God, their subsistence allowance would be revoked.
Currently, the forced removals of church crosses in the area are continuing. Some fear that the removal of Christian symbols is just the first step of the authorities’ crackdown on religious belief.
Reported by Jiang Tao
The Gospel Church’s cross is forcibly removed: