Zhejiang government specifies size of cross on churches

By Jiang Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2015-5-8 0:08:28

East China's Zhejiang Province plans to regulate the construction of religious buildings, and has welcomed public feedback until May 20.

A draft regulation published on the official website of the Zhejiang ethnic and religious affairs committee has outlined construction standards on places of worship for Buddhist, Taoist, Muslim, Catholic and Protestant churches - the five faiths legal in China.

The draft regulation states that crosses for both Catholic and Protestant churches must be attached to the front side of the main building. The ratio of the cross's length and building's height should be no bigger than 1 to 10. In particular, the vertical and horizontal parts of a cross for Catholic churches should be 1 to 0.618 and that those for Protestant churches should be 3 to 2.

Public feedback will be sent to the Institute of Architectural Design and Research of Zhejiang Province and the regulation is aimed at protecting citizens' religious freedom and promoting "scientific and normative" architectural design, read a Monday notice issued by the committee.

An committee official who requested anonymity declined to comment when reached by the Global Times on Thursday, but said that the final draft will only be implemented following public feedback and expert verification.

The draft regulation was written after dozens of Catholic and Protestant churches in Zhejiang were demolished or had their crosses removed over the past year for alleged illegal construction.

Hundreds of believers had protested outside the Sanjiang church in Yongjia county, Wenzhou over a demolition order, but the church was finally torn down last April.

A local media official of Yongjia told the Global Times that the church was an illegal structure because it had received no planning approval before the land was rezoned from agricultural to urban.

Compiled by Zhejiang authorities in August 2014, the draft regulation is aimed at strengthening the rule of law in religious affairs management in the face of "various chaos," including pursuing "luxurious but void" architecture in religious structures, reported local news portal zjol.com.cn.

Yongjia, along with Hangzhou's Yuhang district and Ouhai district in Wenzhou, will become the first batch of pilot cities to carry out the regulation once it is published, the news portal said.

Posted in: Society

blog comments powered by Disqus