China: woman buried alive in church demolition

The wife of a church leader in China's central Henan province was killed by being buried alive when she tried to prevent the destruction of her husband's house church, according to China Aid.

Ding Cuimei and her husband, Li Jiangong, stepped in front of a bulldozer as it began to destroy Beitou church on 14 April. The couple were pushed into a pit and covered with soil. Li managed to crawl to safety but his wife died from suffocation.

One of the members of the government-backed construction team allegedly said: 'Bury them alive for me. I will be responsible for their lives.' Police have said the two members of the demolition team are being held on criminal charges.

The Chinese government has been conducting a campaign to remove crosses and destroy churches for a number of years, particularly in Christian areas on its east coast. The government says that its aim is to target the increasing number of illegal constructions. Some churches fall foul of building regulations by constructing larger churches than they've been permitted.