Chinese police clash with protesters over removal of a cross
Published on Jul 21, 2014 7:15 PM
BEIJING (REUTERS) - Police in eastern China clashed in the middle of the night with Christian protesters massed around their church on Monday, but failed to carry out a government order to remove a cross from the building, according to witnesses and online accounts.
Several people were injured in the two-hour melee.
Dozens of churches in the wealthy province of Zhejiang have received government notices in the past few weeks demanding the demolition of church buildings or removal of crosses in what the government says is a campaign aimed at illegal structures, the U.S.-based Christian group ChinaAid says.
Rights groups and Christians say it amounts to religious persecution, which ignores the protection of religious freedom in China's constitution.
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