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Chinese authorities force churches to replace crosses with national flags

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Chinese Churches are being forced by authorities to replace crosses atop churches with Chinese flag. Churches are being told to display pictures of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Communist government is forcing the Churches to align with government’s policies.

Chinese Christians

China Aid- a Christian persecution watchdog reports that churches across the Xinyu County, Jiangxi have received official orders to display the China’s national flag and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s picture and posters with socialist values written on them. Moreover, children have been barred from attending church. In case the locals failed to follow the instructions, government’s allowance for low-income nationals will be cut.

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Reports emerge that in another area of Jiangxi, more than 40 churches were forced to hang slogans saying: “Non-locals are prohibited from preaching; no underage people allowed in church.” At the same time, in Leqing, Zhejiang province, churches are forced to sing patriotic songs and hang national flag.

China’s Global Times newspaper was quoted saying: “All religious venues should raise China’s national flag to strengthen awareness of respect to the flag and preserve the flag’s dignity…..places of worship [that] do not follow the practice could face scrutiny.”

Chinese government officially recognizes Buddhism, Taoism, Protestant Christianity, Catholic Christianity and Islam. Earlier this year, in a bid to align religion with Chinese values, government introduced tightened religious regulations. In line with these new regulations, “China’s Policies and Practices on Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief,” religious leaders “must conduct religious activities in the Chinese context, practice core socialist values, carry forward the fine traditions of the Chinese nation, and actively explore religious thought which conforms to the reality in China.”

An Open Doors researcher told World Watch Monitor that the ruling Communist party: “….believes the Church is a de-stabilizing force, but not because it is bad; in fact, local communities and authorities tend to believe Christians are good people. Some suggest that because Christians’ allegiance is first and foremost to God and not the Communist Party, there is a conflict of interests that the party believes can potentially hinder the process of unification. Others are more concerned by what they perceive as potential ‘chaos’ arising from the huge number of Christians”.