Authorities in Wenzhou, known as China’s Jerusalem, have given Christian churches a deadline to remove prominent crosses within weeks, worshippers and an activist group said Thursday, stepping up a long-running campaign.

 The eastern province of Zhejiang, where Wenzhou is located, earlier this year proposed rules requiring crosses for Catholic and Protestant churches to be attached to the front of the building, rather than on the roof. They must also be no more than a tenth of the building’s height.

The move came after Wenzhou authorities last year demolished the large Sanjiang Church, following government claims it was an illegal structure.

Three parishes under Wenzhou’s jurisdiction told AFP that local officials had renewed demands for churches to remove the remaining crosses themselves, threatening to take them down if they did not comply.

A member of the Yongqiang Parish told AFP: “Talk has been spreading that in the past two days, more than 10 crosses have been torn down in Wenzhou.”

Officials had ordered crosses on eight churches to be removed by September 20, he added.

A pastor in Pingyang said that “almost all” of the county’s 135 churches had been told to remove crosses.

“Until now, the crosses of small churches in rural areas have been removed. But it will come to the big churches in the end,” he added.

The campaign is not restricted to Wenzhou, but with an estimated number of Christians of more than a million, it presents a prominent target.

Bob Fu, president of US-based religious rights group the China Aid Association, said the pace has “definitely increased”.

Read more:

Evangelist Dina Amelia Kalmeta is the Founder and CEO of Your New Life in Christ Ministries - CWW7NEWS. Evangelist Dina reports on world events as they pertain to Bible Prophecy. Before Your New Life in Christ Ministries, Evangelist Dina served as a Leader for INCHRIST NETWORK leading teams online and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her mission today is to bring hard evidence that what is taking place in the world isn't just coincidence, but indeed proof that the last days the Bible warned us about are upon us right now.