Authorities in China’s Henan province have reportedly torn down crosses atop several churches after claims that the structures themselves were built illegally.  “The parishes were illegally built without permission from the government,” an official told China’s state-run Global Times newspaper. “So we demolished their crosses.” A representative with the Ethnic and Religious Bureau of Yichuan county, a small town south of Henan’s capital, said “two or three” crosses were pulled down this year.

“Activities in the illegally-built parishes will be prohibited,” the official told the newspaper. “Other legal Christian activities here will remain open.”  This latest incident comes as Chinese Christians fear a new crackdown. From 2014 to 2016, more than 1,500 crosses were torn down from churches in one Chinese province. Last week, China’s government banned online retailers from selling the Bible. READ MORE