Churches residing in the Xin Xiang county of Henan province, which is a region within the Yellow River Vally that has been widely recognized as being the originator of the Chinese civilization, had refused orders from government officials to demolish the cross and raise the Chinese national flag. An order which was believed to have originated from the China Committee Secretary.
Residents recounted numerous police units surrounding church buildings in an attempt to intimidate church pastors. However, at least 2 pastors refused this order to destroy the cross and raise the Chinese flag in citing that God is of the highest authority and so they will refuse to follow the instructions that is given by the human authority. This refusal of government intrusion on the basic human rights of freedom of religion came at a high cost for those church pastors, as both were arrested where one was given a sentence of 5 to 14 years, and the other a sentence of 3 years.
This comes as another example of the Chinese government’s 5 year plan to sinicize Christianity, which saw its start last year. The simple action of raising the Chinese national flag on top of church buildings does not symbolize patriotic sentiments of the church members as in other countries, but symbolize’s the government claim and conquest of Christianity. Raising up this flag in effect revolutionizes the church and signifies that the church body no longer serves God, but serve the Chinese communist government and regards its socialistic values as the highest form of authority. These preachers had stood up against the overbearing attack of earthly forces and will suffer earthly consequences. But as Jesus said in Matthew 5:11-12
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.