Security personnel removed crosses from two Chinese churches earlier this month as intense persecution continues in the country.

More than 100 personnel participated in the removal of crosses from churches on July 7, reports Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) Canada.

Aodi Christian Church and Yinchang Christian Church in Wenzhou had their crosses removed with cranes. Locks on doors were also broken and the churches saw their property destroyed.

Church members tried to intervene and stop the removal of their religious symbols but were physically assaulted. Several injuries resulted.

Members say the elderly were also mistreated, with one man in his 80s pushed to the ground.

The demolition orders for the two churches were state-sanctioned. In the Chinese state of Anhui, crosses from 250 government-approved churches were removed in the early months of 2020.

Other religious symbols are also facing removal and destruction.

China is currently the 23rd-worst country in the world for Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA's World Watch List. Open Doors' says the country has seen a rise in "every facet of persecution."