The repression and sinicization of the Catholic Church continues in the Henan. Two days ago the local authorities of Weihui, in the diocese of Anyang, destroyed the huge iron crosses that stood out on the two bell towers.
Destroying too much visible crosses, eliminating decorations, paintings and statues judged as “too Western” is the way in which the “sinicization” is affirming itself, to bring out a Christianity “according to the Chinese characteristics”, and above all subjected to the authority of the Party Communist. In Henan this campaign has lasted for years. Often the crosses are replaced with Chinese flags, giving churches an image of “government office”.
Since the launch of the new regulations on religious activities, Henan has become a sort of pilot-experiment of repression: several churches have been closed, the catechism is forbidden for children and teenagers, Christian graves destroyed. According to some priests, the reason is simple: in Henan Christians are about 4% of the population, making it one of the provinces with the highest percentage of Christians. “By showing such violence – says a priest – the government tries to frighten not so much those who are already Catholics, but the people who would like to convert to Christianity”.