Voice of the Martyrs Korea is marking the second anniversary of the martyrdom of Chinese Christian attorney Li Baiguang by releasing a video containing a scripture song of Isiah 35 that he wrote and sang as he would ride the bus for days on the way to the countryside to represent clients facing difficulties with the government.
“Attorney Li was an internationally renowned human rights defense lawyer in China who died of suspicious causes in February 2018,”
says Voice of the Martyrs Korea representative Foley Hyun Sook.
“Although Chinese officials alleged that he died of a liver condition, Attorney Li was only 49 years old when he died. He neither drank nor smoked, and we and others saw him in excellent health shortly before his death.”
Chinese authorities refused international demands for an autopsy and pushed for a quick cremation of the attorney’s body. Foley notes that Attorney Li was not the only previously healthy Chinese human rights lawyer alleged to have died from liver disease.
Li Baiguang with farmers in Guizhou in 2004.
(Photo Credit: chinachange.org)
VOM Korea ministry partners in China report that in October 2017, Attorney Li was abducted in Zhejiang province, beaten and threatened with dismemberment for defending farmers whose land was seized by the government.
“Attorney Li was a unique figure because he suffered on behalf of both Chinese underground Christians and North Korean underground Christians.”
Foley points to Li’s representation of the family of VOM’s former North Korea ministry partner, Korean Chinese Pastor Han Chung Ryeol, who was martyred in Changbai, China in April 2016.
Li Baiguang standing next to US President George Bush.
(Photo Credit: cnn.com)
“Usually Li Baiguang is remembered through photos with George Bush and other political leaders, but who he really was, was a man who loved the poor and persecuted. He would travel humbly on a bus for days to the remote reaches of China. Because he had so much time on the bus, he would use it to memorize scripture through song. So we did a video of one of his scripture songs, putting it to music with photos of Li Baiguang as he should be remembered–as a Christian who loved and cared for the people God loves and cares for, who are often neglected or persecuted by the world.”
Anyone wishing to watch Voice of the Martyrs Korea’s commemorative video can go here.