30 OCTOBER 2003
Thirty-three-year-old Mrs Zhang Hongmei was arrested by Chinese police in October 2003 for participating in “illegal religious activities”.
On the afternoon of her arrest on 29 October, police demanded a bribe of 3,000 RMB (around $600 AUD) for her release. Zhang’s family were unable to raise the money, so instead her husband and brother went to the police station to request her release.
When they arrived at the station, they were shocked. Zhang was bound to a bench with heavy chains. She was badly wounded and unable to speak.
In spite of Zhang’s deteriorating condition, the police refused to let her go. Her husband and brother were sent home.
The next day on 30 October, Zhang’s family returned to the station to enquire after her. They were informed by police that she had died. The autopsy report showed that she had died from internal injuries as a result of repeated beatings.
Zhang Hongmei was ready to die rather than deny Christ. In her life, she blessed the lives of many in her community; in her death, she offered an example and a challenge to believers around the world.
As we honour Zhang’s sacrifice today, may we also be encouraged to stand firm in our faith in Christ, no matter the cost.