China orders Christians to destroy church crosses and images of Jesus Christ

China's attack on Christianity continues seeing churches bulldozed and crosses destroyed.

Chinese officials have ordered Christians to smash the crosses on their churches and remove images of Jesus from their homes.

The Communist Chinese authorities have recently destroyed religious symbols by force in churches in multiple provinces, including Anhui, Jiangsu, Hebei and Zhejiang.

Whilst officials of another region, Shanxi, demanded religious images be taken down and replaced with pictures of Communist leaders at the homes of impoverished believers.

In Huainan, the eastern province of Anhui, anti-Christian officials in charge of religious affairs barged into the local Shiwan Christ Church to dismantle its cross on Saturday and Sunday.

The officials did so after demanding that the church take down its cross a week earlier.

Dozens of Christians gathered to try to prevent them from bulldozing the holy symbol.

Similar scenes occurred in Yongjia in Zhejiang Province on 7th July.

The local government sent approximately 100 workers and a crane to demolish the crosses on Ao'di Christ Church and Yinchang Christ Church.

Local worshippers confirmed that government workers forced their way into the churches, smashing the property and beat up the Christians who tried to stop them, including a devout woman in her 80s.

China Aid, founded by American-Chinese pastor Bob Fu, released pictures of a heavy machine lifting a cross off one church and government workers standing in front of another.

In Linfen, Shanxi Province village officials were ordered to remove crosses, religious symbols and images from the homes of people of the Christian faith.

The government is targeting poverty-stricken residents who received social welfare payments; those families are being ordered to remove any crosses and images of Christ and must instead display portraits of Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping.

China's ruling Communist Party has been waging a widespread clampdown on all religious institutions in recent years.

President Xi Jinping has ordered that all religions must 'Sinicise' to ensure they are loyal to the officially atheistic party.

In 2019, the Chinese central government ordered its censors to review and edit all translated versions of classic religious books to make sure that their messages reflect the principles of Socialism.

The new editions of holy scriptures must not contain any content that goes against the beliefs of the Communist Party, according to the country's top officials on religious matters.

The officials said that Biblical paragraphs deemed wrong by the censors would be amended or re-translated.   

The order was given last November during a meeting held by the Committee for Ethnic and Religious Affairs of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which oversees the ethnic and religious matters in China. 

The meeting was supervised by Wang Yang, Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Mr Wang stressed that religious authorities must follow President Xi's instructions and interpret the ideologies of different religions in accordance with 'the core values of Socialism' and 'the requirements of the era'.

He urged the officials to build 'a religious system with Chinese characteristics'.

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