The religious liberty news outlet Bitter Winter reports that Communist Chinese authorities have forcibly removed myriad Christian signs, symbols, and Bible verses from structures in Zhaojialing village, which has enjoyed a strong Catholic presence for over 100 years.
"Beginning in May this year, the government forced local Catholics to remove from their door lintels the plaques on which religious terms are inscribed," reported Bitter Winter.
"As a result, on the plaques terms such as 'The Lord bestows great grace (主賜鴻恩),' 'Heavenly grace is overflowing (天恩洋溢),' and 'The light of grace shines (恩光普照)' were replaced with 'Harmony in the family leads to prosperity in all undertakings (家和萬事興),' 'Homeland filled with happiness (幸福滿家園),' and other secular terms," reported the human rights publication.
In addition, surveillance cameras were installed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in a famous church, Our Lady of Zhaojialing, Shanxi. Bitter Winter reports that the pastor and parishioners now often gather in secret.
Local residents, according to the report, believe the signs and Christian symbols were removed to "sinicize" the community, which is the CCP's term for blending socialism into Christian theology.
Bitter Winter further reported, "Religious signs on the village’s streets were also forcibly rectified. For example, signs with terms like 'The Street of Our Lady of the Fields (聖母大街)' and 'Gate of Heaven (上天之門)' were replaced with new ones, 'The Street of Harmony (和諧大街)' and 'Gate of Roses (玫瑰之門).'"
Also, "Bible verses displayed on both sides of the street were replaced with slogans praising the Communist Party," reported the publication.
Since the Communist takeover in 1949-50, more than 65 million Chinese have been killed for political reasons or as a consequence of Communist Party policies, such as collectivization.