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Concern as more churches demolished in China

Religious freedom charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) says it's concerned by reports which suggest in the past two weeks authorities in Henan Province have demolished crosses and churches, destroyed religious materials and forbidden children from attending churches.

Worshipers have also been told they'll be expelled from education and employment.

CSW's Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: "The crackdown on Christians in Henan Province demonstrates the increasing pressure on religious communities in China.

"While the authorities claim that religious freedom is protected, the reality is that independent religious communities are subject to harassment, intimidations and other violations.

"Unregistered churches are being forcibly shut down. At the same time, churches registered with the government are being managed more tightly, and forced to show loyalty to the Communist Party.

"We call on the Chinese authorities to protect the right to freedom of religion or belief for people of all faiths in China, in all parts of the country, and to release those detained in connection with their peaceful religious practice."

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