TWENTY Christians have been beaten and jailed for hanging a cross outside their home in China.
Public security officials stormed the property in central Hanan province after a crucifix was seen outside.
An eyewitness, described the scene in Nanle as “miserable” as officials beat the Christian homeowner before turning on other Christians coming out of the property.
Zhang Mingxuan, a pastor and president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, told China Aid: “It is against the national constitution and laws for house church believers to be beaten by Nanle County Public Security Bureau.
Churchgoers have been beaten and arrested in China
It is against the national constitution and laws for house church believers to be beaten by Nanle County Public Security Bureau – Pastor Zhang Mingxua
Officials attack a Christian woman in China
The Chinese Communist Party has been accused of cracking down on religious freedom
The crackdown has forced Christians to worship underground
Catholics in the secretive state are divided between the official state Church, which heavily monitors sermons and teachings, and those who attend ‘underground Churches’, which run illegally away from the eyes of Xi Jinping’s Communist government.
It has led to an underground movement where bishops are unofficially elected without authorisation from the Chinese Communist Party or the Vatican.
Pope Francis has previously declined to intervene, recognising persecuted Christians’ struggles.
But in an unusual move, the Holy See released a statement this week warning underground Catholics not to take matter into their own hands.
It comes amid growing expectation the Vatican and the Chinese government are close to an agreement on the ordination of bishops as China still insists it has the authority to appoint bishops independent of the Holy See.
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