Less than two weeks after a pastor’s wife was killed in a government authorised church demolition in China’s central Henan province, the authorities have ruled that the disputed land where the incident took place belongs to the church and its pastor for use as a religious site.
A task force made up of the township government, the local ministry of land and resources, and a village administrative committee declared that the land where the incident took place is the property of Li Jiangong and Beitou Church. A report issued by the task force declares that no individual or other organization should claim land from the church, and designates the site for religious use.
Li and his wife, Ding Cuimei, were buried alive on April 14 by contractors demolishing the Beitou church. Li crawled to safety but his wife died from suffocation. The contractors were detained but authorities have released no information about their charges. A Beijing lawyer will represent the family in the case of Ding’s murder.