Woman bulldozed to death in China signals new wave of oppression


#1

catholicnewsagency.com/news/woman-bulldozed-to-death-in-china-signals-new-wave-of-oppression-21809/

**Woman bulldozed to death in China signals new wave of oppression

Beijing, China, Apr 27, 2016 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Two members of a Chinese church demolition crew have been detained by police after they allegedly bulldozed the wife of a Christian pastor who had attempted to halt the destruction of her church.

Bob Fu, president of the NGO China Aid, said that Christianity has become a “major target” in culture and is treated as “a political and security threat to the regime,” he told CNA April 25.

“Bulldozing and burying alive Ding Cuimei, a peaceful and devout Christian woman, was a cruel, murderous act,” Fu said in a previous statement from China Aid.

“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.”**

Ding Cumei and her husband Li Jiangong were pushed into a ditch and buried alive by the bulldozer as congregants watched. Her husband was able to dig his way out, but she was not.
Li headed Beitou Church in the city of Zhumadian in central China’s Hena province.

A government-backed company had sent the demolition crew to the church after a local developer wished to take the property, China Aid said.

One member of the crew allegedly said “Bury them alive for me…I will be responsible for their lives.”

An officer at the local police station told China Aid that the two members of the crew were detained but the officer did not disclose their alleged crimes.

Local Christians said that the government departments in charge of the area were not present to oversee the demolition. Li said that police took an unusually long time to arrive after the murder was reported.

Fu told CNA that the situation for Christians in China has changed under President Xi Jinping, who took office in 2013. He likened the situation to a “new Cultural Revolution.”

Under the previous presidential administrations of Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, Fu said, “officially Christianity was not overtly regarded as a national security threat.”

Suspicion and crackdowns instead focused on unregistered churches in both Protestant and Catholic churches.

Now, even registered churches have faced increased scrutiny and persecution. Church leaders at government sanctioned churches have faced heavy criminal sentences.

“Christians, including Catholics have been asked to change into a different version of belief under the banner of ‘Sinicization of religion’ in order to make Christianity compatible with socialism,” Fu said.

David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, told Fox News that there has been a change from previous trends to recognize Christians as productive members of Chinese society.

“China has the goal of nationalizing Christians,” he said.

Curry’s organization monitors anti-Christian persecution around the world. He said there are many ways to marginalize China’s Christian churches, including rezoning church properties to allow for demolition. Some local pastors are required to meet weekly with local officials to discuss their sermons.

“It has had a chilling effect on religious freedom in China,” he said.

Fu added that China’s constitution guarantees freedom of religious belief. “Religious freedom is a universal, fundamental first freedom,” he said. “Religious freedom for Christianity can foster a more stable less volatile and more prosperous China.”


#2

That’s a terrible story. And frankly the clampdown is a little shocking. I remember visiting Beijing a number of years back and going to a Catholic church in the city (one of the sanctioned ones). It was a little tense, we were advised not to make any overtly religious moves or speech outside the building. But otherwise it wasn’t that out of the ordinary. To see this kind of regression to repression is very disturbing.


#3

Shades of Rachel Corrie. A horrible story.

:gopray:


#4

Were there a lot of Catholics there? I don’t think I’ve heard too many descriptions of Catholicism in China.


#5

There were more Catholics in attendance than I typically saw at my childhood parish on an average Sunday (or my local neighborhood Catholic Church today). I remember that struck me. I remember the church itself was very pretty in a somewhat neo-Gothic but with a distinctly Chinese flair particularly on the inside. It was the Xuanwumen Catholic Church if I’m remembering correctly. One thing that was kind of odd is how the church itself is hidden behind a wall to minimize exposure of both the congregation to the public and the public to the congregation. I also remember the Jesuit who was our guide on this particular trip definitely advising caution, as these Catholics we were visiting are able to practice their faith, they’re not able to do so entirely openly. But the hope was the continuing opening of their culture would extend to religion as well in the coming years. That apparently did not happen if they’re cracking down in this way.


#6

Will the Chinese government really protect these Christians from hardcore communists?


#7

Well considering it’s the Chinese government cracking down on these Christians… I wouldn’t think so.


#8

To be fair to China, those responsible have been detained by police. Time will tell what action is taken against them.


#9

Praying for the repose of her soul & for her family.


#10

Thanks, Padres. :slight_smile: I’m always interested to hear details about Christians who are forced to practice as underground communities. Hopefully it won’t come to that in China. The diplomacy of it requires sensitivity, a’la the Vatican’s relations with the Third Reich. The Pope had to be exceedingly careful to outwardly walk the razor’s edge of not outrightly attacking Hitler, because that would have resulted in the most terrible violence inflicted upon Germany’s Catholics, while at the same time funding and orchestrating underground anti-Nazi resistance movements all across Europe. Somewhat of a similar approach may someday be necessary to help China’s Catholics.

Unfortunately, it sounds like that someday may be soon.


#11

I read a couple of months ago that 20, 000 were baptized at Easter.


#12

The Pope also has to walk the same razor’s edge when it comes to Christians in the Middle East.


#13

When it comes to ISIS, though, diplomacy is useless and meaningless. Maybe they could be slightly more Satanic and cruel toward “Nazarenes” than they already are, but it’s hard to imagine how. When it comes to the Middle East, the Pope should publicly question whether Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States are actually responsible for ISIS, and even in control of them. The idea being to publicly shame them into doing something. So actually, I don’t think the same kind of delicacy is required in the Middle East, at least as far as ISIS goes. It would be far better if Francis put pressure on the US and it’s allies to actually fight ISIS alongside Russia and Syria, rather than arming and protecting them as they are now, and as they have been all along. Imagine if Francis raised questions publicly about the CIA’s jihadist training facilities in Jordan, for instance: it might force the West to do something about the vile genocide Christians are in the midst of.

To approach China with anything remotely resembling aggression, though, would very likely cause them to clamp down on Catholics worse than they already are. Things could be worse for Christians in China, but things actually couldn’t be too much worse for Christians in the Middle East.


closed #14

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