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Chinese Christians Fight Back

In response to continued pressure by local officials who have removed crosses from Christian churches (or even torn down churches entirely), Chinese Christians are turning to civil disobedience. Christianity Today reports on the joint Protestant-Catholic effort:

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, toldThe Guardian. “We are even considering making flags and clothes with cross patterns. We will make the cross flourish throughout China.” […]

“The ongoing campaign to forcibly remove crosses and demolish churches in Zhejiang has had a profoundly negative effect on Catholic and Protestant churches in the province,” CSW’s chief executive Mervyn Thomas said. “Many church leaders have patiently and repeatedly tried to negotiate and enter into dialogue with the local authorities; the protests and petitions by leaders and lay Christians are a sign that their concerns have not been addressed.” […]

For a country that still remembers the Taiping Rebellion, and where Falun Gong’s ability to mobilize protesters on Tiananmen Square (1999-2001) led to a massive national crackdown, this sign of spontaneous grass roots protest, however peaceful, can’t be good news.

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