April 19, 2016
A church leader’s wife died after being buried alive when a company sent in bulldozers to demolish an unofficial “house church” in southern Henan province.
Church leader Li Jiangong was also buried but managed to escape as his wife Ding Cuimei suffocated after they stepped in front of the bulldozer in a last-ditch attempt to protect their church in Zhumadian on April 14, said U.S.-based Christian rights group China Aid.
Police have detained two people from the demolition team while the Public Security Bureau investigates the case.
Government officials reportedly did not oversee the demolition, which was carried out by a developer on land owned by the house church, which are technically illegal under Chinese law as they are not registered and overseen by state religious bodies.
“This case is a serious violation of the rights to life, religious freedom and rule of law,” said China Aid President Bob Fu.
“The Chinese authorities should immediately hold those murderers accountable and take concrete measures to protect the religious freedom of this house church’s members.”