02 August 2014

Hundreds of police dismantle cross at Wenzhou church, while fire guts Ningbo cathedral

Hundreds of police took down a church's cross yesterday in Wenzhou, known as "China's Jerusalem" because of its many houses of worship, amid a crackdown on church buildings in the Zhejiang provincial city. Evangelist Qu Linuo said he and about 200 others had rushed to the Longgang Huai En Church to protect the building, but peacefully made way for the police, who used a crane to remove the three-metre red cross from its steeple.

The authorities told the church the cross violated building height limits and returned it to the parishioners, who wept and prayed around it, said Qu, who is a member of another church. Photographs posted on social media showed parishioners holding banners reading: "Anti-graft, anti-corruption, protect religion."