ICC Note: Dong Chunhua has been missing more than a month. A Chinese missionary to Tibet, Dong was last seen by a fellow missionary in the Shigatse Prefecture of Tibet. Dong, who has reportedly spread the Gospel in more than 70 Tibetan counties, has been detained by police before and had his home raided by authorities. China remains hostile, especially in the Tibet Autonomous Region, towards religious minorities.
2/6/2014 China (ChinaAid) – A missionary preaching in China’s southwestern Tibetan Autonomous Region has been missing, with no word of his whereabouts or situation, since Jan. 5.
Dong Chunhua, originally from China’s coastal Shandong province, was last known to be in the Xigaze (Chinese: Shigatse/Rikaze) prefecture of Tibet before he disappeared. Song Xinkuan, a fellow missionary, told ChinaAid that the last time Dong’s family was able to contact him was a month ago.
“On Christmas Day, he went to the Xigaze region in Tibet and went to several counties. Then, he went to the Ngari prefecture, which borders Xinjiang. He visited that place for a period of time. The person who last saw him said he met Dong in Yadong County [in the Xigaze prefecture], where Tibet borders India,” Song said. The person who last spoke to and saw Dong was another missionary, who is from Wenzhou, in the coastal province of Zhejiang, according to Song.
“We are afraid that he has gone missing. We don’t know whether he has gone, or whether he has been taken into custody or detained by the police,” Song said.
“This is a great loss both to his family and to the Gospel preaching in the entire Tibetan region,” Song said.
According to Song, missionaries in Tibet preach the Gospel and build churches. “In the churches in Tibet, most of the believers are people of the Han ethnicity. There are very few Tibetans. Dong often went deep in the Tibetan region to preach the Gospel,” Song said.
Song told ChinaAid that missionaries in Tibet don’t belong to a certain church. “There are no Three-Self Patriotic Movement churches or China Christian Counsel or Three-Self Patriotic Movement committees in Tibet. Nor are there any churches with an organizational structure. There are only believers spread here and there, especially in the grassroots counties.”
Song also said that Dong has been detained by police before. In addition, his home has been searched. Dong has spread the Gospel in more than 70 Tibetan counties.