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8/2/15

Christianity: China Is Tearing Down Crosses

Christians in China sometimes paint their crosses red to remind them of the blood shed by the faithful when Chairman Mao Zedong's shock troops tried to obliterate their faith almost 50 years ago.

Now, many of China's Christians fear that the current government in Beijing—which just won the 2022 Olympics by showing its friendlier face to the world—is mounting a more subtle campaign against them and their beliefs. In the name of “safety and beauty” and zoning regulations, it is bulldozing churches and tearing down crosses.

In the process, the Chinese Communist Party may be helping to create just the sort of opposition movement it hopes to eliminate.

Christianity has had a presence in China for over a millennium. The first missionaries arrived in the Middle Kingdom in the 7th century. The Taiping Rebellion of the mid-1800s, one of the bloodiest conflicts in recorded history, was led by a man who believed that Jesus was his older brother, and that it was his divine duty to carve out a Heavenly Kingdom on earth.

Three and a half decades later, the Boxer Rebellion, backed by the Chinese Empress, was a movement that opposed foreign imperialist forces, and targeted Christian missionaries within the Chinese Empire. It was a tumultuous time, when American troops scaled the walls of Beijing, and Imperial China was in its final moments.

A couple of momentous changes in government later, religion and the freedom to practice it still remain touchy subjects, at times leading to violence. There are, of course, the cults led by figures of questionable sanity, like Eastern Lightning, which doesn’t bother employing a fig leaf in its mission to “overthrow the Great Red Dragon.”

But most Christians in China don’t have a political agenda. And with it or without it, they face creeping persecution
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Read more: China Is Tearing Down Crosses - The Daily Beast

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