The Chinese authorities have reportedly ordered Christians to renounce their faith and replace the crosses, images of Jesus in churches with their communist leaders, Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping. The Chinese officials have recently demolished religious symbols by force in churches in multiple provinces, including Anhui, Jiangsu, Hebei, and Zhejiang.
The officials had asked the church to remove its cross a week earlier, reported Radio Free Asia citing local sources. The report claims dozens of believers had gathered to stop the authorities from knocking down the cross. The government workers also forced their way into the churches, vandalized churches' properties, and thrashed Christians, including a woman in her 80s, who tried to oppose them.
The report also mentioned that poor Christians living in rural areas are being threatened by government officials to destroy religious symbols and display posters of communist leaders if they want to continue receiving welfare or benefits from the government. Crosses and images of Jesus were taken down with about 100 construction workers as they ordered a crane for help to remove.
Directives have been issued by the Chinese Communist Party to flatten churches and mosques, preventing Tibetan children from pursuing Buddhist religious studies and corralling more than a million members of Uyghur Muslim minorities in a bid to re-educate them in internment camps.
In November 2019, the Communist government in China decreed its censors to review and edit all translated versions of classic religious texts which includes Buddhism.
The Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Wang Yang, who oversaw the meeting said that religious authorities must abide by President Xi's directives and expound the ideologies of different religions in conformity to 'the core values of Socialism' and 'the requirements of the era.'