The Chinese government has ordered the demolition of multiple churches around the country http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/10904942/Chinese-churchs-fightback-fails-to-stop-cross-removal.html
Two members of a demolition team who ran over a pastor’s wife with a bulldozer as she protested the church demolition have been sentenced for the murder — but the woman’s husband believes their penalties are too light.
In 2016, a government-backed company dispatched personnel to bulldoze Beitou Church in Zhumadian, Henan province, after a local developer wished to take control of the church’s valuable property. According to China Aid, Li Jiangong, the pastor of the church, and Ding Cuimei his wife, attempted to stop the demolition.
“Bury them alive for me,” a member of the demolition team said. “I will take responsibility for their deaths. “
The bulldozer pushed Li and Ding into the pit and covered them with soil. Although Li was able get out of the pit, Ding’s wife drowned under the soil and died before she could be saved.
Police later arrested two members of the crew in association with the crime, but the person who ordered the murder is still at large. Both prisoners were convicted of the crime late last year. One was sentenced to life imprisonment on the charge “intentional murder” and the other to two years in prison for “negligent killing.” “
Believing that the sentences were lenient, Li consulted with a lawyer on whether or not he should appeal, but the attorney did not believe they would find favor in court.
However, the story made headlines, government officials decided the church may keep the land. China Aid was informed by the pastor that the church is doing well and that attendance has increased.
Still, Li continues to mourn the loss of his wife — and hopes that one day, her murderers will receive adequate punishment: “Each day, my frame of mind is not good,” he said. “Losing someone is a blow for my mood. This is not the verdict we expected. “
Shortly after the murder took place, China Aid President Bob Fu told Fox News that the incident underscores the serious violations against religious freedom in China that have occurred since President Xi Jinping took office in 2013. It also highlights the Chinese leadership’s discomfort with the growing allure of Christianity, whose followers are said to rival in number the 86 million members of the Communist Party.
“He has taken a strong ideological turn to create a new cultural direction,” Fu said. Fu stated that he [Xi] is against independent churches and independent social movements. The government is trying to stop the spread of Christianity. “
While the Chinese Communist Party claims to allows “freedom of religious belief, Open Doors USA has placed the country at 43rd on its World Watch List of countries where Christians face the most persecution.
“The government’s goal of maintaining power and social harmony includes the control of all religions, including the quickly growing Christian minority,” reads the report.
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