Authorities in China’s Zhejiang province have removed 1,200 to 1,700 crosses from Christian churches over the last two years, The New York Times reported in May.
Some Christians have rebelled against the cross removals; approximately 50 church members were injured in one recent confrontation with authorities.
“It was quiet late last year,” one anonymous Christian told The Times. “But the government is now making it clear that all of the crosses will go.”
President Xi Jinping announced at a recent “religious affairs” conference that religions must “Sinicize,” or become more Chinese. Xi claimed that some religious groups had provided an opening for “overseas infiltration.”