(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

A church that was demolished in China.

The wife of a church leader in the central Chinese province of Henan was tragically buried alive underneath the rubble of their demolished church where she suffocated and died. On April 14th, a demolition team was instructed to destroy the Beitou Church in Zhumadian in order to pave the way for new developers to take ownership of the lucrative property.

In an attempt to stop the destruction of the building, church leader Li Jiangong, accompanied by his wife Ding Cuimei, stood in front of the bulldozers. The demolition workers purposely continued with their work, eventually burying the couple underground. Li Jiangong dug his way up to the surface but, unfortunately, he was unable to save his wife in time.

A member of the demolition team was heard to have said just before the incident: "Bury them alive. I will be responsible for their lives." The two demolition workers were later criminally detained by the local authorities because of pressure from the media. Other reports on persecution in China are available at our online country report.

Pray that the Lord will bring an overwhelming sense of comfort, peace and strength to the surviving church leader, Li Jiangong, and his family as they come to terms with their sudden great loss. Ask that He would also make His loving presence known to the believers of Beitou Church, so they will experience tremendous comfort during this difficult time as well. May this tragedy be used by the Lord to bring attention to the plight of the suffering church in China and, additionally, to reach those desperately in need of His forgiveness and salvation -- including the very ones responsible for the crime.