In a joint online campaign, Catholics and Protestants call on the faithful to make crosses at home and carry them everywhere. This is a “peaceful and non-violent” response to the authorities’ campaign against the religious symbol. For Catholic priest, “Tomorrow you will see crosses everywhere in Zhejiang.”
Catholics and Protestants in the eastern province of Zhejiang have launched an ‘ecumenical’ campaign to make crosses – the Christian symbol par excellence – and carry them everywhere.
Launched on social media, the idea of disobeying in a legal and peaceful manner has met with great success. It is a response to a “clean-up” policy undertaken by local authorities against churches and crosses, ostensibly because Christians failed to respect building regulations.
Since 2013, when Zhejiang was designated as an area of great economic development for 2020, the authorities have launched a policy of “beautifying” the region by removing illegal structures.
Called ‘Three Rectifications and One Demolition,’ the campaign indicates the percentage of buildings to destroy, and land to be recovered for large-scale building development.
According to the provincial government, all communities and private places are touched without distinction. However, Christian sites have been its main target.
Catholics note that the first destruction orders were issued after Zhejiang party secretary Xia Baolong noted during an inspection that a church in Baiquan was too visible and an “eyesore”.
Seeing that the skyline was full of crosses, he gave the order to “rectify” it. Since then, the party has been tearing down crosses, statues and churches.
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SOURCE: Asia News