The Chinese government has given more authority to a politician known as an anti-Christian crusader.
Xia Baolong has been appointmented as the director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, meaning he will oversee matters in Hong Kong.
He is infamous for creating the Communist Party campaign which had local authorities take down crosses from the roofs of more than 1,000 churches. The campaign also had church buildings were demolished.
A pastor in Zhejiang province, where many of the crosses were removed, told religious freedom charity International Christian Concern, “This shift [from Zhang to Xia] is not a good situation.
“It is possible that Xia will oppress the churches in Hong Kong.”
Xia was the vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and will replace Zhang Xiaoming.
The 67-year-old is a former close aide to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
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