Christians in China have revealed new details about the Communist Party’s ongoing crackdown on religion. The Associated Press reported earlier this week on what believers have described as increasing persecution under President Xi Jinping’s government which has ordered several churches to be demolished while others have been forced to remove crosses and paintings of Jesus.

A 62-year-old shopkeeper from Henan province opened up about what he and other Christians have suffered, such as local officials showing up at their church and demanding that the cross, Bible verse calligraphy, and a painting of the “Last Supper” be taken down. “I’ve always prayed for our country’s leaders, for our country to get stronger,” the shopkeeper said. “They were never this severe before, not since I started going to church in the ’80s. Why are they telling us to stop now?” he asked. READ MORE