Communist China officially guarantees freedom of religion though authorities are sometimes suspicious of religious groups.
Christians in the eastern province of Zhejiang, which has a growing Christian population, say authorities have been taking down crosses on churches since last year, creating tension between officials and congregations.
Video footage sent to Reuters by Zhang Zhaoxia, a member of the congregation at Ya Village Church in Huzhou city, showed authorities using a crane to remove the cross from the church's steeple. Reuters could not verify the footage.
Up to 22 members of the church staged a roof-top protest for a month to guard the cross but government officials told their relatives on Thursday the occupation had to end that day.