As the Chinese government continues to suppress religious freedom, Christianity is facing the forcible removal of crosses and demolition of churches across the vast nation.
However, threatened by the authorities and fearing retaliation, some Catholic Church members dare not disclose what is happening to the outside world, causing a blackout of all news on the subject.
The communist regime began to severely suppress the Church in Henan province last year and since then the persecution has spread to the neighboring region of Hebei.
Church sources in the latter say they have been threatened by authorities and dare not reveal the true facts to the outside world.
The crosses of some churches in Hebei’s Handan Diocese were forcibly removed in May and since then all news about the demolition of churches has been blocked by authorities.
A local Catholic, who identified himself only as John, told ucanews.com that authorities had forbidden church members from discussing the incidents, warning they could expect to face reprisals.
He explained that the retaliation might include the demolition of more crosses and churches, even the detention of clerics. Such acts of retaliation had scared some pastors into silence, he added.
Father Francis from Hebei also pointed out that many churches in the province were facing demolition and redevelopment for other uses. However, he admitted that local Catholics and priests did not dare to release news and photos as they feared retaliation by authorities.
“Once relevant photos are released, even though the specific location is not identified, you know that the authorities will investigate and find out the source of the news. This is an insidious and cunning deed,” he told ucanews.com.