Communist authorities demolish a rooftop cross at Lingkun St. Michael Church of Yongqiang Parish. Screengrab/YouTube
A church rooftop cross was severed by Chinese Communist workers in Wenzhou amid an ongoing campaign to control Christianity in the region.
In the video, workers are shown severing the massive cross, which is then removed by a large crane.
Just one day later, Luoyang Catholic Church in Henan saw two of its crosses demolished by authorities. A clip attached to the video of the demolition at Lingkun shows one female church member aiming a stick at an official, seemingly in protest against the demolition, while another woman cries at the scene.
“That is Christianity is in conformity with Sinicization, in other words, in line with socialism,” a Catholic believer by the name of John told UCAnews.
Church rooftop crosses have been targeted for years, with Communist officials citing building code violations. However, believers say that the campaign is part of efforts to oppress the growing Christian faith and “Sinicize” religion by demanding loyalty to the atheist Communist party.
In September, footage emerged from the Henan province showing crosses and Bibles being burned. The move was condemned by human rights groups, with China Aid President Bob Fu calling on the international community to be “outraged.”
“The international community should be alarmed and outraged for this blatant violation of freedom of religion and belief,” he said.
“The situation for Chinese #Christians becomes more dire by the day. We are working tirelessly to put maximum pressure on China stop the persecution,” Jay Sekulow, President Trump attorney and Chief Counsel at the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), wrote in a tweet.
Currently, China has around 38 million Protestants, and some have predicted that the country will have the world’s largest Christian population in a few decades.
Fu previously told The Guardian that despite the government’s best efforts, Christianity will continue to thrive.
“I have hope for the future, these campaigns were done in Roman times, under Stalin and under Mao, and none succeeded,” he said. “It will only have the opposite effect, and if Communist party cadres studied history they would see this. Crackdowns will cause the church to grow faster, and help church be more united.”