Christianity crackdown: Cross torn down in targeted attack

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According to reports, the church in the Kuzguncuk, Turkey was found with its cross, which is normally hanging on the door, dismantled and laying on the ground.
The cross is now remounted on the church door.

Security tapes revealed an unidentified person coming to the church, which is attended by Christian Armenians in the area, on Friday evening.

The person scaled the church gates and dismantled the cross.

Footage was handed to the relevant officials and according to International Christian Concern an investigation is ongoing.

Garo Paylan, a Turkish-Armenian lawmaker for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), condemned the incident, calling it a hate crime.

He tweeted: “Attacks continue on our churches. 

“The cross of our Surp Krikor Lusaroviç Armenian Church was removed and thrown away. 

“Hate speech made by the ruling power normalises hate crimes.”

This is not the only occurrence of vandalism for Armenian Christians living in Turkey.

Around two weeks ago, a vandal attempted to burn the door of a church in the Bakirköy region.

News of vandalism in Christian communities in Turkey comes days after a cross was damaged in a church in Pakistan.

The violence erupted when attackers armed with guns approached the Trinity Pentecostal Church in Hakeem Pura, Sheikhupura district near Lahore, Punjab.

The mob shouted anti-Christian slogans as they damaged walls and a cross in the church, which was empty because of the coronavirus lockdown being enforced throughout the country.

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Pastor Samuel Barkat, head pastor of Trinity Pentecostal Church, told police the mob attempted to set fire to the building.

He told non-partisan Christian organisation International Christian Concern: “Following the COVID-19 lockdown, the church has been closed down and the worshipers are not visiting.

“Therefore, a group of land grabbers wanted to utilize this opportunity for their motives.”

Local Christian Boota Masih told AsiaNews the mob fled as soon as police arrived on the scene.

He said: “Not only was the cross broken, but our hearts were crushed too.”

News of the attack quickly spread throughout Pakistan as a whole, causing increased anger and sadness among Christian communities.

They are urging Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Government to provide increased protection to Pakistan’s minorities and are demanding the thugs are quickly brought to justice.

Earlier this month, China continued its crackdown against Christianity after tearing down crosses at a number of churches throughout the country.

A church located in the city of Huainan had its cross removed from the building, according to the Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness (CCFR), a non-profit religious organisation registered in the United States.

In a video posted by the group, a worker can be seen standing on the building where the cross was allegedly removed.

The CCFR also showed a house church in Shangrao City in Jiangxi province which had been damaged and demolished.

Churches across the country were advised to join the Three-Self Church which is a group of government-approved churches in the country.

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