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1,500 churches demolished in two years in Chinese province

by Hannah Tooley

2015 has been named the worst year religious persecution following claims 2014 was the worst in China since the Cultural Revolution.

Outside observers have claimed that relations between religious factions in China and the Communist Party have not been this strained since the days of Chairman Mao, in the Catholic Herald.

It has been claimed that the ruling party has increasingly played a role in religious life.

Former Catholic journalist in Zhejiang, using the name Clare, said that: "Authorities have lost the hearts of the people after the cross-removal campaign."

The government launched a campaign of cross removal from buildings, claiming health and safety reasons were to blame.

Speaking to the Catholic Herald, John, a catechist in Wenzhou, said that this policy: "helped unite all the clergy to fight for their rights."

Bishops in China even went as far as publicly denouncing authorities, a criticism that is rare in the communist state.

Christians in Zhejiang are saying that at present the authorities are increasingly interfering with life inside churches and in Wenzhou, Christians reported state officials attending church on Sundays to keep watch silence outspoken voices.

The role in church life is part of the "five entries and transformations" campaign, which aims to make churches 'more' Chinese, and focuses on verses that reflect party doctrine.

President Xi Jinping is the leader of the Communist Party that rules over a nation of more than 1.2 billion people.

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