Christians ordered to destroy crosses and images of Jesus in intense Chinese religious persecution
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Officials in China have reportedly ordered several Christians to demolish crosses and remove images of Jesus from their churches and homes.
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(Images by China Aid)
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the news site, Radio Free Asia, religious symbols have been destroyed by force in churches from multiple provinces, including "Anhui, Jiangsu, Hebei and Zhejiang."
In addition, officials in Shanxi, another region in China, took things a step further and demanded any religious images be replaced with pictures of Communist leaders.
Reports claim the government is potentially targeting poverty-stricken residents who received social welfare payments. Those families are told to display portraits of China's Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping.
These new reports of religious discrimination come as China continues to face grave criticism against its extreme control over its religious populations, including the Muslim minorities.
According to the Daily Mail, those in charge of religious affairs, in Huainan, allegedly burst into the Shiwan Christ Church to physically dismantle its cross. The officials previously ordered the church to remove its cross a week earlier.
Upon arriving to forcefully impose their order, officials were met by dozens of faithful who gathered in an effort to prevent the bulldozing of their cross.
In similar instances, the Chinese government sent a crane and about 100 workers to demolish crosses at both the Ao'di Christ Church and Yinchang Christ Church, according to China Aid.
China Aid, a U.S.-based pressure group, was founded by American-Chinese pastor Bob Fu. Fu released images of the recent religious persecution occurring in China.
In addition to cracking down on religious symbols, China's Communist Party has also initaited a widespread clampdown on religous institutions, including censoring of classic religous books.
Wang Yang, Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, explained that religious authorities must follow the President's instructions and the ideologies of different religions must be interpreted in accordance with the "core values of Socialism." He further urged officials to build "a religious system with Chinese characteristics."
The religious and devout in China have never stopped fighting for their faith, and we don't imagine they will now.
Join us in praying for their strength.
Lord, you are Holy above all others, and all of the strength that I need is in your hands.
I am not asking, Lord, that you take this trial away. Instead, I simply ask that Your will be done in my life. Whatever that means, that is what I want.
But I admit that it's hard, Lord.
Sometimes I feel like I can't go on. The pain and the fear are too much for me, and I know that I don't have the strength on my own to get through this.
I know that I can come to you, Jesus, and that you will hear my prayer. I know that it is not your intent to bring me to this point just to leave me in the wilderness alone.
Please, Lord, give me the strength that I need to face today. I don't have to worry about tomorrow.
If you just give me the strength that I need today that is all I need.
Keep me from sinning during this trial. Instead, help me to keep my eyes on you. You are the Holy Lord, and all of my hope rests in you.
Thank you for hearing my prayer.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
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