The senior pastor at the largest Protestant church in Zhejiang province appears to have backed down in a statement made following a weeklong row over his dismissal for criticizing Chinese authorities.
The Rev. Gu Yuese refrained from further condemning the government over his dismissal, six months after issuing a statement denouncing provincial authorities for removing thousands of church crosses since December 2013.
The decision to fire Gu was designed to "sort out the interpersonal relationship" between the provincial government and state-backed church organizations in Zhejiang, according to a statement by the Beijing-approved Protestant Church, without explaining further.
Gu's dismissal has led Christians in the province to further complain of growing state interference in daily religious life. Officials have reportedly attended Sunday Mass in recent weeks in a bid to silence critics of the cross removal campaign.