China Sees Red: Christian Protest Puts Hundreds of Crosses Back in Public

China Sees Red: Christian Protest Puts Hundreds of Crosses Back in Public
Protestants and Catholics unite for ‘safe and legal non-violent disobedience.’ The government of “China’s Jerusalem” has torn down hundreds of giant red crosses from church buildings over the past two years. Now Chinese Protestants and Catholics are joining together to put red crosses—albeit much smaller ones—back in the public eye. In an online campaign , church leaders in the eastern province of Zhejiang have called on Christians to craft hundreds of small wooden crosses, paint them red, and display them at home or on their cars. “Each time they take a cross down, we will put more up,” one church leader, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Guardian . “We are even considering making flags and clothes with cross patterns. We will make the cross flourish throughout China.” The removal campaign began in 2013, but hit Christians hardest last summer. Hundreds of crosses were removed, sometimes along with the demolition of entire churches. Christians protested, at times sitting in front of their building or cross to protect it. More than 100 people were detained or arrested in connection with cross removals in 2014, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reported. Another 38 were beaten or injured during protests. Cross removals decreased last fall, and seemed to die out altogether over the winter, but picked up steam again this spring. In May, 17 crosses were removed. In July, 10 more. (CSW compiled an interactive timeline .) Also in May, the government released new guidelines for church crosses: They must be short, no more than one tenth the height of the building’s facade. They must be unobtrusive, painted a color that blends in with the building. And they must be placed on the building, not above it. The rules mean that most … Continue reading …

August 4, 2015 at 07:27AM
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