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Christian protesters clash with Chinese police

It's reported protestors gathered around the building in the wealthy province of Zhejiang after receiving a notice the government was going to remove the cross because it was an 'illegal structure'.

One protestor told the Reuters News Agency there were around 500 police officers who charged at the protestors in a standoff lasting two hours.

"We did not want them to get close, so we joined up to stop them getting in, but they came at us and beat us," he said.

Several people were injured in the incident with at least five needing hospital treatment.

Another witness said they felt their religious freedom rights had been violated.

She said: "We are Christians and are not looking for trouble, and if the government comes to us with reasonable requests, we will not oppose it. But using force on us at 2:00 a.m. is unacceptable and we cannot understand why they are doing it."

There are 65million Christians in China but they are frequently subjected to abuse and oppression.

In recent months the state has started a campaign of demolishing churches claiming they don't have the correct planning permission.

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