By Job Garcia, Contributing Writer
Since the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the symbolic meaning of the cross has shifted from a representation of “horrible punishment” to “love,” “hope” and “salvation.” The cross is at the forefront of Christianity and a significantly important symbol for believers. Sadly, the world has always been hostile to Christianity and the message of the cross.
Currently, officials in China’s Zhejiang province have initiated a hateful campaign against Christianity that’s reportedly involved the destruction of some 360 church buildings and crosses.
The Christian community in China recently came under attack when official’s attempted to confiscate a cross from Guantou church in Wenzhou, a port city on the South China Sea, which is commonly referred to as “China’s Jerusalem.”
During the official’s attempt to remove the large red cross from the church, church members attempted to stop the removal of the cross by disconnecting the power supply. A scuffle occurred between officials and church attendees, and several of them sustained minor injuries. Eventually, a few days later, the large red cross was secretly removed by demolition workers.
According to China Aid, a Christian advocacy group, approximately 15 churches have received threats by authorities that proclaim that they will face destruction if they don’t remove their crosses. China Aid also stated that approximately 360 church properties and crosses have already been targeted.
Christian activists are adamant that the Communist Party is forcing the restraint of the progression of Christianity.
“The government cannot stop the spread of the gospel,” says Pastor Li, who works as a missionary within China. “Despite persecution, Christians will remain strong. The power of God is stronger than any government official.”
Christians in America are, for the most part, unaware or ignorant to the persecution that believers in other countries are facing. The persecution of believers is a horrible reality. We must continue to pray for our brothers and sisters facing persecution. We must also be grateful for the religious liberties that we still have in America.
– Sources: The Gospel Herald, 07/08/14, and Newsmax, 06/22/14.
Note: Pictured above, the Sanjiang protestant church in Wenzhow, which was demolished by Chinese Communist officials last April. The officials said the church was too big.