..what cannot be disputed is the budding friction between the state and Chinese Christians: Over the past two years, Chinese authorities ”” citing building code violations ”” have torn down more than 1,200 crosses from churches across the country, destroyed several churches, and rounded up Christian activists.
There has been some resistance. Chinese Christians in Zhejiang either rebuilt or replaced some of those crosses after the authorities tore down the originals, and other worshippers hung small crosses outside the windows of their homes or from car mirrors.
More intriguingly, provincial branches of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, two of the three government-approved Christian organizations in China, sent letters to party leaders condemning the crackdown on Christian symbols.
Against this backdrop of alleged persecution and violence, Chinese Christians and government leaders eye each other warily, both sides unsure of what the future of Christianity in the Middle Kingdom might be..