Chinese Christians injured after resisting Communist move to install cameras in their churches as part of 'crackdown'

ReutersChristians in China are facing increased restrictions under President Xi Jinping's rule.

A number of Chinese Christians were injured and needed hospital treatment after they resisted police officers who were ordered to install security cameras in their churches, reports said.

The clashes took place in churches in Wenzhou, a city known as "China's Jerusalem" located in Zhejiang Province, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on Monday.

China's communist government reportedly ordered the installation of the surveillance equipment at churches for "anti-terrorism and security purposes."

However, Christians in Wenzhou, who number about a million, said the measure is part of the Communist government's continued "crackdown on Christianity."

"Government officials came to the churches and put up cameras by force. Some pastors and worshipers who didn't agree to the move were dragged away," one Christian told SCMP. "Some people needed to be treated in hospital after fighting the officials."

According to China Aid, a Christian and human rights watchdog group, the surveillance equipment installed in churches would allow authorities to easily monitor church activities.

Aside from the anti-terror and security reasons, the cameras are also being set up in churches to monitor church officials' compliance with the earlier order to demolish crosses on church rooftops, authorities in Zhejiang admitted.

From March 21-24, hundreds of police officers converged on Changlin Church in Wenzhou to install the cameras, beating Christians who tried to stop them.

Some Christian women who stood outside the church were rounded up and briefly detained by the police. They were released after the cameras were set up in various parts of the church.

The raiding police team also destroyed the church's reception desk and other parts of the building, including the church's gate, according to China Aid.

Church officials accused the Chinese government of violating the privacy, disrupting the internal affairs of religious organisations, and breaking laws by installing the cameras.

China ranks 39th on Open Doors USA's World Watch list this year of top Christian-persecuting countries in the world.

The Christian persecution watchdog says the communist government in China continues to come up with measures designed to tighten control on the country's burgeoning Christian community, which is estimated at 85 million out of the country total population of 1.37 billion.

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