International Christian Concern (ICC) has just learned that the wife of a church leader in the central Chinese province of Henan was buried alive with her husband underneath the rubble of their freshly demolished church, where she suffocated and died.
On April 14th, a demolition team was instructed to begin the demolition of the Beitou Church in Zhumadian, Henan Province, to pave the way for new developers to take ownership of the lucrative property. The church leader, Li Jiangong and wife Ding Cuimei, stood in front of the bulldozers in an attempt to stop the destruction of their church. As a result, both Li and his wife were buried beneath the dirt by the demolition team.
According to China Aid, a US-based human rights group, a member of the demolition team was heard saying to the other workers, “Bury them alive, I will be responsible for their lives.”
Ding Cuimei suffocated under the weight of the dirt released by the bulldozer while her husband was able to dig his way to the surface. The responsible individuals have been subsequently detained by local authorities due to pressure from the media.
“Bulldozing and burying alive Ding Cuimei, a peaceful and devout Christian woman, was a cruel, murderous act,”
Bob Fu, President of China Aid, said in a press statement
This tragedy is just one example of the growing pressure on the Chinese Church through the Chinese government’s “Three rectifications, one demolition,” campaign. Over 2,000 church crosses have been forcibly removed across the country by the government, in an attempt to reduce foreign influence upon the Chinese people.
While most cases involving church members standing between demolition crews and the church end peacefully, the death of Ding Cuimei has the potential to spark even more tension between the government and the Chinese Christian community.
- Pray for Ding Cuimel’s husband, and leader of the demolished church, as he grieves the tragic death of his wife and the loss of his church building. Pray that he will know the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit around and within him.
- Pray for the church members, and others across China, who are victims of the governments crackdown on Christianity. Pray for the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and for the opportunity to continue to meet together and encourage each other as a Church.
- Pray for the Chinese Government as it continues to remove crosses and demolish churches, and also cracks down on foreign Christian NGO’s working in the country. Pray for those in Carthage to have life changing encounters with Christ Jesus and to come to realise the truth of the Gospel of Jesus.
- Pray for the Church in China, that, despite all the pressure against it is continuing to grow. Pray for good discipleship of new believers, for mature leaders and for many more across this vast land to come to know the Jesus, His life, hope and grace.
Psalm 23 vs 4: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”