NANJING, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- The body of late Chinese Christian leader Bishop Ding Guangxun was cremated on Tuesday in Nanjing, the capital of east China's Jiangsu Province.
Ding passed away on Nov. 22 in the city at the age of 98.
When Ding was in hospital and after his death, he was visited and his family was condoled, in various forms, by Hu Jintao, Xi Jinping, Jiang Zemin, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli, according to an official press release.
Yu Zhengsheng, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and Zheng Wantong, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), on Tuesday attended the funeral for Ding in Nanjing, on behalf of the central authorities.
The Chinese authorities held Ding in high esteem, calling him "an outstanding, patriotic religious leader" and "a close friend of the CPC," according to the press release.
Ding had served as vice chairman of the National Committee of the CPPCC, chairman and honorary chairman of the Three-self Patriotic Movement Committee of the Protestant Churches of China, as well as president and honorary president of the China Christian Council.
He was also honorary president of the Nanjing Union Theological Seminary and president of the Amity Foundation.
Ding was born in Shanghai on Sept. 20, 1915. He studied and got bachelor's degrees on literature and theology at the Saint John's College in Shanghai in 1930s. He studied in New York between 1947 and 1948, where he got a master's degree on religious education.
He returned to China in September 1951, and since then, he had devoted himself into the creation and development of the Three-self (Self-administration, Self-support and Self-propagation of the Gospel) Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches of China.
Ding was also a leading founder of the Amity Foundation which has been active in launching charity activities and helping the disadvantaged groups.