China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity
- Locals in Henan stated concerns of a move by the atheist ruling Community Party to control Christianity
- Residents were asked to replace posters of the cross and Jesus Christ with portraits of President Xi Jinping
- Experts say the government is waging the most severe systematic suppression of the religion since 1982
- Chinese leaders have 'always been suspicious of the political threat' that Christianity poses to the regime
Concerns have been raised over China's apparent crackdown on Christianity as the ruling Community party continues to intensify its control over religious freedom in the country.
Churches were raided and demolished, Bibles and holy books were confiscated and new laws were established to monitor religious activities in the country's province of Henan, which has one of the largest Christian populations in China.
Under President Xi Jinping, China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, believers are seeing their freedoms shrink dramatically even as the country undergoes a religious revival.
Experts and activists say that as Xi consolidates his power, he is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982.