Tag: Cross Demolition
Last month images and video of a cross burning on top of a church in Hunan provoked fears of increased government pressure on churches. Due in part to reports of cross removals in certain parts of China in recent years, some Christians speculated that this fire last month was deliberately lit, spreading fear online that the government stepped up a campaign against Christian churches.
Those fears were unfounded, reports China Christian Daily, who interviewed the pastor of the church. Although the church had agreed with the government to remove the cross, the fire appears to have been accidental.
On July 16, the website of the Pushi Institute for Social Science published a long piece titled "Considering the Future of church-state relations in China after the 2-14-2015 Zhejiang Cross Dispute." It had originally been published in the Christian Times. It’s a rather long piece so we have decided to excerpt two parts.
As the cross demolition campaign in Zhejiang Province continues (despite earlier reports of an order to bring it to a close), Protestant and Catholic believers are beginning to push back. Last week a small group of Catholics staged a demonstration outside of the government offices in Wenzhou, calling on the government to halt the campaign.
Following more than a year of cross and church demolitions in Zhejiang Province, in May the provincial government published a draft set of regulations governing the construction and location of religious venues, as well as the placement of Christian crosses. The draft regulations were posted on the websites of two government agencies, with a request for comments from the public. One pastor in the province shared his comments with the Gospel Times, who in turn posted it on their site. It’s an interesting look at how these regulations are viewed by a Christian leader, as well a fascinating window into how the religious sphere “talks to” the state in China, employing language the state understands.