China Removes Crosses from Two More Churches in Crackdown

China guards pdBEIJING — In another sign of the authorities’ efforts to contain one of China’s fastest-growing religions, a government demolition campaign against public symbols of the Christian faith has toppled crosses at two more churches in the coastal province of Zhejiang, according to residents there.

On Monday, public security officials in the city of Wenzhou used a crane and blowtorch to cut loose the red, 10-foot crucifix that had adorned the Longgang Township Gratitude Church, witnesses said. Unlike in previous confrontations between the police and parishioners that have unfolded in recent months, the congregants did not offer resistance.

“We didn’t want to get in a fight with them, but obviously what they did was illegal,” said Qu Linuo, a pastor from a nearby church, who was among the crowd of believers who held an overnight vigil before the police arrived.

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