China has earned political ire from all fronts as it pushes its South China Sea ambitions further but now it seems that the country is also challenging the religious sector. According to recent reports, China has been tearing down crucifixes as part of its “brutal” crackdown on spreading Christian minority.
Several reports have cropped up recently claiming that China has been forcefully intervening with the Christian sector. As of date, more than two thousand crosses have reportedly been removed from churches as part of the government’s initiative to control “excessive religious sites.”
According to Express, China’s leadership introduced the crusade around two years ago. The program seeks to eradicate Christianity in the coastal province of Zhejiang. Since the launch of the crusade, a number of people have been arrested in light of opposing the government’s crackdown on Christian faith. One of those arrested included prominent human rights lawyer Zhang Kai. The lawyer was arrested after he initiated a campaign that would challenge the government’s actions legally.
According to reports, Kai was held in custody for six months before he appeared “forcefully” on the State channel speaking about his crimes against the government of China. Additionally, he was made to admit that he supported the anti-establishment protest of the demolition of crucifixes.
According to Mirror, a number of rights groups are calling out the government for such acts because such campaign “restricts Christianity and religious freedoms.” Furthermore, the report added that men in plainclothes were intentionally sent to remove crosses and avoid any affiliations with government personnel.
The said move to eradicate crucifixes stunned many citizens and “traumatized” some. “The true intention behind demolishing church buildings and rectifying crosses is to curb the development of Christianity,” Mirror quoted ChinaAid, a Texas-based Christian advocacy group.