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22 April 2016

Chinese Christian dies after being buried alive

Chinese Christian dies after being buried alive

A Christian in China has died after she was buried alive during an anti-demolition protest.

Ding Cuimei died after stepping in front of machinery to disrupt the demolition of her church building.

Li Jiangong, her husband and the church leader, was also buried but managed to free himself and survive.

Bob Fu, president of China Aid said: "Bulldozing and burying alive Ding Cuimei, a peaceful and devout Christian woman, was a cruel, murderous act.

"This case is a serious violation of the rights to life, religious freedom and rule of law. The Chinese authorities should immediately hold those murderers accountable and take concrete measures to protect the religious freedom of this house church's members."

It is understood that on 14 April a government-backed company sent a team to bulldoze Beitou Church in Zhumadian, Henan province, where a local developer hoped to take control of the church's valuable property.

As Li and Ding stepped in front of the machinery a member of the demolition team is alleged to have said: "Bury them alive for me. I will be responsible for their lives."

A bulldozer pushed Li and Ding into a pit and covered their bodies with soil and although Li was able to dig his way free, Ding suffocated before she could be rescued.

A reporter from China Aid, which works to expose persecution against Christians in China in order to promote religious freedom and rule of law, spoke with an officer from the local police station. The officer stated that the two perpetrators from the demolition team are currently being detained while a criminal investigation team from the public security bureau reviews their case.

The officer refused to disclose their alleged crimes.

Li has said that police took a long time to arrive at the scene after a report of the murder was filed and that the widespread media attention has meant he is being pressured not to disclose the details of the case.

Li is urging the justice system to examine the motive and circumstances behind his wife's murder.

You can keep up to date with the situation in China via China Aid. The Alliance is a member of the Religious Liberty Commission, along with Release International, Open Doors and Christian Solidarity Worldwide.