A giant cross lies on the driveway to the LIngxi Church in Wenzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province after it was removed earlier this month. Pic: AP.

BEIJING (AP) — A Christian evangelist in eastern China says hundreds of police have taken down a local church’s cross amid a crackdown on church buildings around Zhejiang province.

Qu Linuo said police arrived early Monday at the Longgang Huai En Church in the city of Wenzhou where they used a crane to remove the cross. Qu said about 200 parishioners had flocked to the church a few hours earlier to protect the church but peacefully made way for the police.

Qu said authorities told the church the cross violated building height limits. A man at Cangnan county’s public security office said he didn’t know anything about the incident. The Longgang township police didn’t answer phone calls.

Last week, parishioners at another church in Wenzhou successfully protected their cross from hundreds of police.