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Meaning: Blue Sea
Main Minorities: Tibetan (30%) and Hui (15%)
Official Bible Schools: none
websites: www.freedomhouse.org/religion; www.HRIChina.org
Golmud: Pop. 85,658
Gonghe: Pop. 127,904
Xining: Pop. 693,951
Qinghai became a province only in 1928, primarily out of land that was formerly
part of Tibet. It is named for a huge salt lake in eastern Qinghai. Xining,
the capital, had 120 Christians in 1950, but now has over 6,000. However there
are only nine churches and three pastors in the entire province. Xining’s
three churches pale in comparison to its 140 mosques and countless Buddhist
temples on the grassland.
Qinghai and neighboring Xinjiang have served as China‘s Siberia for the
past 50 years. During the Anti-Rightist Movement in the 1950’s and the
Cultural Revolution in the 1960’s, many Christians were sent to internal
exile in Qinghai. Many never emerged alive, but others who were released later
returned to evangelize there. The cases listed below, though not all in Qinghai,
are representative of the Christians and others who continue to be persecuted
in China today.
1. Li Qingrui, a house church leader
from Henan province, was shot and critically injured on October 26, 1998, while
trying to flee a police crackdown on a national meeting of church leaders in
the city of Wugang in Henan. He was sent to the hospital for emergency medical
care, and managed to escape with the help of friends. A nationwide warrant for
his arrest has since been issued by public security officers.
2. Cheng Meiying, a missionary from Henan
province, was arrested and detained on October 26, 1998, at a national meeting
for house church leaders in Wugang, Henan Province. She was well-known for her
work in helping to plant thousands of house churches. Sister Cheng was taken
to Fangcheng Prison and beaten with batons and a water-soaked whip made of hemp
rope. She suffered a complete memory loss, and because she exhibited symptoms
of insanity, was released the next month.
3. In December 1998 the government gave
extremely long prison sentences to the three founders of the Chinese Democratic
Party. Xu Wenli was sentenced to 13 years in prison, Qin Yongmin for 12 years,
and Wang Youcai to 11 years. Their trials lasted just a few hours.
4. Rev. Vincent Qin Guoliang, a Shanghai
native and Catholic priest in his 60’s, has been in prison or labor camp
in Qinghai for over 40 years. He was in prison from 1955-78 because of his refusal
to renounce ties with the Vatican. From 1978-1991 he was confined as an "employee
detainee" making bricks at the No. 4 Brick Factory in Xining. He was arrested
most recently on Nov. 3, 1994 in Xining and sentenced to two years' "reeducation
through labor" at a labor camp 12 miles from Xining. Father Qin was forced
to carry rocks and blocks of ice in the camp, but after one month became seriously
ill, and in March 1995 he was allowed to perform light duties.
KEY PRAYER POINTS.
1. Pray for the many prisoners who live in slave conditions in Qinghai and other
parts of China’s Gulag.
2. Pray for the large Tibetan and Muslim population of Qinghai.
3. Pray for foreign and national Christians who are developing creative ways
to make disciples in Qinghai. Matt. 28:19
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