As “part of a crackdown on chuch buildings” Police in Wenzhou, China, used to a crane to take a cross off of Longgang Huai En Church on July 28.
Approximately “200 protesters had flocked to the church to protect it” but moved out of the way once police arrived.
According to Yahoo News, “Evangelist Qu Linnuo…said authorities told the church the cross violated building height limits.” Throughout Zhejiang province–which is where Wenzhou is located–“authorities have toppled or threatened to topple crosses at more than 130 Protestant churches.” In some instances they have bulldozed sanctuaries to the ground as well.
And while officials continue to point to “building codes” to justify their actions, “Church groups…say the government is targeting [China’s] fastest-growing religion.” The Pew Research center placed the number of Protestants in China at 58 million 2011.
Fox News reports that last week a group of parishioners from another church in Wenzhou were able to “[protect] their cross from hundreds of police.” However, doing so did not come without a price, as “three people suffered serious injuries in the clash with police.”
Four thousand of the churches in Zhejiang province are located in Wenzhou.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.