WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) -- With fierce persecution weighing on China's churches, Christian activists in the U.S. are joining in advocacy to raise awareness and stand in solidarity against campaigns by the Chinese government to destroy its nation's church buildings and symbolic crosses.
Last week, a group from the community Church on the Hill, based in D.C., led a protest against China's demolition of crosses in the Zhejian province where its estimated that since 2014 more than 100 churches have been destroyed and over 1,000 crosses have been forcibly removed, according to a China Aid, a human rights organization that exposes injustice and defends religious freedom in the communist country.
Leaders of Thursday's protest included Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition who carried a large wooden cross as an outcry for religious freedom in China.
"It is critical that the faith community in America stand for religious freedom, human rights and freedom in China and throughout the world!" the organization wrote in a statement on their Facebook page.
In addition to the demonstration organized by The Church on the Hill, China Aid will also coordinate a number of advocacy initiatives with other faith-based groups and human rights organizations in the coming months.
Initiatives will include efforts around the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in late June and the upcoming visit of President Xi Jinping in September, the organization told Christian Examiner.
Last month the Texas-based China Aid, released a report that said overall religious persecution by the Chinese government against its citizens had risen 152.74 percent since 2013.
The organization called the activity over the last year the most "severe suppressive measures since the Cultural Revolution."