he widely reported death by suffocation of Ding Cuimei, the wife of a pastor in China’s Henan province, has shocked Christians worldwide. Ding and her husband were buried as they attempted to prevent their church from being bulldozed by developers.
Ding’s husband managed to crawl to safety, but she did not. Their case highlights again the lack of legal protection for China’s Christians.
In Beijing, meanwhile, a less noticed but more significant event provides insight into how China’s atheistic regime plans to deal with the country’s growing Christian population, projected to become the world’s largest within the next couple decades.
At a long-awaited national conference on religion, held April 22-23 in Beijing, China’s president Xi Jinping called on leaders to take the initiative in reasserting Communist Party of China (CPC) control over religion.
Xi’s speech, his first specifically on religion since coming to power in 2012, delineates a clear hierarchy in which religion is subordinate to state interests. According to Xi, uniting all believers under CPC leadership is necessary to preserve internal harmony while warding off hostile foreign forces that may use religion to destabilize the regime.