Chinese Communists Remove Jesus Statue from Church, Replace with Atheist Symbol
Christian symbols on church rooftops 'too visible' authorities say
China’s United Front officials removed a statue of Jesus from the steeple of the church of Linjiazhuang in Shandong, replacing it with a lightning rod, according to reports.
The communist United Front argued that Christian symbols on church rooftops are “too visible,” and also tore down crosses from the church of Wuda (Inner Mongolia) and from the church of Zhumadian (Henan), according to AsiaNews.
The removal of religious symbols forms part of the program of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to “Sinicize” religion in China by erasing Western influence in order to make it more suitable with the principles of Chinese socialism.
According to local observers, the program includes measures that are designed to “make the signs of the Christian faith ever less visible."
The Sinicization campaign began in 2018 when strict new regulations on religious activities were published.
As part of the regulations, authorities have demolished churches, paintings, crosses, and other Christian symbols, beginning in Henan, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia and spreading to Zhejiang, Jiangxi, and other provinces.
Thousands of “overly visible” crosses from bell towers and church facades have already been demolished by the regional Communist Party in Zhejiang.
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Just weeks after the deal was signed by the Vatican, Chinese authorities demolished two Catholic pilgrimage sites dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Government officials once again invoked “Sinicization” while destroying one of the sites, the shrine of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows in Dongergou (Shanxi), saying there were “too many crosses” and “too many holy paintings."
The Our Lady of the Mountain in Anlong shrine was destroyed because it lacked the necessary “building permits,” according to authorities.
In 2018, Neon Nettle reported on footage of burning crosses that surfaced on social media.
Christian pastor Liang Zhang from Shangqiu city described how heavy-handed officials stormed into his church and ordered the removal of some religious items, including crosses.
“For example, the banner saying: 'For God, so love the world,' and the scriptures were torn down, and all things related to the Bible and faith had to be cleared out," Zhang said.