The Politics of Cross Demolition

A Religio-Political Analysis of the “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” Campaign in Zhejiang Province


In: Review of Religion and Chinese Society
Fuk-tsang Ying Divinity School of Chung Chi College, Chinese University of Hong Kong,

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From March to December 2014, various Wenzhou churches were affected by the unprecedented destruction wrought during the initial execution of the cross-demolition campaign. Subsequently, this campaign extended from Wenzhou to cities like Ningbo, Taizhou, Lishui, and Hangzhou before returning to Wenzhou in July 2015. This article centers on Wenzhou, where authorities removed at least four hundred crosses from churches. It investigates whether the reasons offered for demolishing illegal buildings justify cross demolition, examines the role of the religious factor in the overall campaign, and determines whether the Zhejiang provincial leader attempted to tackle religion-related problems under the guise of demolishing illegal buildings. This article places the cross-demolition campaign in the context of church-state relations and analyzes it from a religio-political perspective.


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