By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
BEIJING (Worthy News)– Since April, more than 200 church crosses have been forcibly removed by the provincial government in Zhejiang, China, according to International Christian Concern.
Church crosses were forcibly removed from Ruo Heng Church in Wenling City and Cheng Xi Church in Wenzhou City Wednesday while more than 100 police removed the cross from Shangzhou Church in Wenzhou City. At least five Shangzhou congregants were hospitalized for defending their church cross.
In a press conference, Zhejiang officials stated that they can legally remove or alter any illegal construction and religious buildings are not exempt.
"In response to today's cross demolitions," said ICC's Regional Manager for Southeast Asia, Sooyoung Kim, "we once again call on the Zhejiang Provincial government to end its disgraceful cross demolition campaign and to investigate the brutalization of congregants by police … Zhejiang provincial authorities have ignored their own people's cry for justice, refusing to provide the legal basis by which it has torn down hundreds of church crosses. All Chinese Christians hold a human right to exercise their religion publicly, free from abuse and harassment. The baseless demolition of hundreds of church crosses and the brutalization of dozens of peaceably assembled congregants are clear and reprehensible breaches of that right and cannot go unaddressed."