Between 1,200 and 1,700 crosses have come crashing down over the past two years in China’s Zhejiang Province, where the brutal repression of Christians has also seen churches demolished and pastors imprisoned, all with the blessing of top party officials. The NYT reports:
“What has been happening in Zhejiang is a test,” said Fan Yafeng, an independent legal scholar in Beijing. “If the government views it as a success, it will be expanded.”
Broadening the campaign to regulate religion could backfire on Mr. Xi, with worshipers abandoning government-run churches in favor of underground congregations, which typically meet unobtrusively in office buildings or homes. It could also antagonize many of the urban, white-collar professionals who have embraced Christianity.
China sees Christianity as a challenge to the existing order. If only Christians in the rest of the world were active and vocal enough to be considered a threat.