A Chinese church founded by a group of US missionaries has had its cross torn down by the communist regime. Hefei Christian Church (HCC) in the country's Anhui province was founded by American missionaries sent by Disciples of Christ back in 1896.
After several site moves and expansions, the church underwent renovations in April 2006 and was known to be the largest congregation in Hefei city. Fourteen years later, and despite the church being state-sanctioned, HCC has become subject to the oppression of the Chinese authorities, who forcibly removed its cross on 27th April.
Footage of the removal, shared by Chinese priest Father Francis Liu, shows that authorities struck under cover of darkness, employing several cranes and construction workers to strip the church of the large cross.
"The cross has been taken down, the cross is no more!” a woman could be heard sobbing in the background.
Captioning the video, Father Liu confirmed: “On April 27, 2020, the cross of the Christian Church in Hefei, Anhui was demolished!”
HCC has become the second church to have its cross removed in Hefei city, after state-vetted Feixi Sanhe Church’s cross was dismantled on 15th April. Anhui province has come under siege from the authorities this year, as the ruling communist party systematically strips the Christian Church of all authority and attempts to help them embrace the indoctrination of Chinese nationalism and the worship of President Xi Jinping - a process known as "sinicisation."
According to China Aid, Secretary of Anhui Provincial Party Committee Li Jinbin stated in February 2019 that “[We] ought to insist on the Sinicization of religion, and holistically prevent hostile forces from infiltrating.” Since then, the authorities have engaged in a number of operations to dismantle the region's churches.