The Chinese government has been removing crosses on churches as well as these fishing vessels. The goal is to remove any visible sign of allegiance to anything other than the Communist Party, and to reduce the Church to a tool of that party. The Orthodox churches in China could be closed at any time at the whim of local officials, and Orthodox Christians taken into custody. China offers yet another instance of the persecution of Christians by governing officials that is unfortunately on the increase not only in China, but in all too many other nations around the world. For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in China, see here
“Zhejiang Authorities Forcibly Remove Crosses from Christian Fishing Vessels,” International Christian Concern, July 31, 2021:
07/31/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – Dozens of fishing vessels with crosses atop in China’s Zhejiang province were banned from leaving the port. The local authorities forcibly removed their crosses before allowing the fishermen to return to work.
According to China Aid, Qushan Island in Zhejiang province’s Zhoushan city has more than 50% of the population believe in Jesus Christ. The Christian fishermen decorate their vessels with Christian symbols such as the cross and the word “Emmanuel” to give them a sense of peace, hope, and protection.
On July 28, the Qushan Township government threatened the fishermen that “if the cross [on the vessel] is not removed, we will not give you authorization, not allow you to pump gas, and not allow you to depart.” When the fishermen asked for legal basis and proper documents of such action, the task force could not provide yet forcibly boarded the vessels to remove the crosses and paint over the word “Emmanuel.”
While the Christians were targeted, vessels with religious symbols from other faith were left untouched….
“Although the freedom of religious belief is enshrined in the Constitution, it is in reality an empty promise, [the government] never executes it according to the law,” one fisherman said.
Of the 130 Christian fishing vessels in Qushan Island, more than 90 had their crosses removed.