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  • Christian Couple Finally Married Despite Opposition

    Zhang Qiang and Xiao Yue smiling and showing their wedding rings
    Zhang Qiang and Xiao Yue celebrating their marriage.
    Photo: ChinaAid

    A recently published report outlined the opposition experienced by Zhang Qiang and Xiao Yue who were initially scheduled to wed on May 21st (see our previous report). Due to harassment from local Chinese authorities, however, these two members of the Early Rain Covenant Church were ultimately forced to postpone their wedding ceremony.

  • Christian Wedding Disrupted by Authorities

    Zhang Qiang and Xiao Yue
    Zhang Qiang and Xiao Yue's wedding picture.
    Photo: ChinaAid

    Zhang Qiang and Xiao Yue were eagerly anticipating their wedding day, which was planned for May 21st. But as the day approached, governmental pressure against the Christian couple began to mount. The problem is that they are members of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu – a church that has been banned and continues to face significant oppression from Chinese authorities. (See our country report for more details.)

  • Imprisoned Church Members Released; Others Remain in Custody

    A group of believers / Wang Runyun excitedly greeting his family
    Wang Runyun and Zhang Ligong with other believers / Wang Runyun greeting his family
    Photos: ChinaAid

    In January 2020, an outspoken critic of the Chinese Communist Party hosted a conference in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Five Chinese Christians who attended the event were charged in July 2021 and convicted on January 7th, 2022, of "illegally crossing the national border." These Christians were sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to eight months. For more details, see our previously posted report.

  • Church Leaders Arrested

    Elder Wu Jiannan, Pastor Hao Mingchang, coworkers - Photo: ChinaAid
    Elder Wu Jiannan, Pastor Hao Mingchang, and their coworkers.
    Photo: ChinaAid

    The Early Rain Qingcaodi Church, a church plant previously established by the Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC), is located in the city of Deyang, which is part of the Chinese province of Sichuan. Shortly after the police initially raided the ERCC in December 2018 (for more details on this incident, see this report), they also broke into the Qingcaodi church, expelling the Christians and posting a notice on the gate of the building in their efforts to ban the believers from meeting. In March 2021, the Sichuan Provincial Department of Civil Affairs published a list of illegal organizations, including both the ERCC and the Qingcaodi church.

  • Ongoing Persecution of the Early Rain Covenant Church

    Dai Zhichao, his wife, and two boys - Photo: ChinaAid
    Dai Zhichao and his family
    Photo: ChinaAid

    Since the Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) was raided in December 2018, leading to dozens of arrests, the opposition of government agents has been relentless. (For previous reports revealing the ongoing difficulties experienced by the members of this prominent church in Chengdu, click here.) While the church as a whole is no longer able to meet together, ERCCmembers continue to gather in small groups.

  • Community Members Pressured to Reject Christians

    Zhang Fan's wedding - Photo: WeChat via ChinaAid
    Taken at Zhang Fan's wedding
    Photo: WeChat via ChinaAid

    Two separate incidents that recently took place in Chengdu, the capital of the Chinese province of Sichuan, demonstrate the effectiveness of the Chinese Communist Party authorities in dividing communities to bring about harassment of Christians and, in particular, members of the Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC). The first incident involved the wedding of a congregation member from the church.

  • Raid on Home Church Gathering

    People eating together - Photo: ChinaAid www.chinaaid.org
    Police monitor church members enjoying a "love feast."
    Photo: ChinaAid

    On the morning of Sunday, August 22nd, police raided a gathering of members from the Chengdu Early Rain Covenant Church as they met for worship. According to the police officers, someone reported that an illegal assembly was taking place at the location. When the officers tried to enter the room, the home church group leader, Preacher Dai, asked to see a search warrant. However, the officers refused and demanded identification from everyone present.

  • Preacher's Family Locked in Their Home

    A delivery being brought through Wu Wuqing's chained door.
    Chain-locked door at the minister's home.
    Photo: Early Rain Church

    Members of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Sichuan, China, continue to face harassment as authorities attempt to shut down their unregistered church. While the head pastor, Wang Yi, is serving a nine-year prison sentence, other members of the church have also encountered consistent persecution.

  • Raids Against Banned Churches

    Authorities checking identification - Photo: ChinaAid www.chinaaid.org
    Police checking every church attendee's identification.
    Photo: ChinaAid

    In May 2019, local authorities informed the Xunsiding Church in Xiamen, China, that they intended to officially close it down. Church members were threatened with the loss of their jobs unless they complied and, on May 19th, dozens of officers, including those of SWAT teams, raided the church service. In the following days, officers remained on site to ensure no one re-entered the facility (see this report for further details).

  • Release of Pastor An Yankui

    Pastor An Yankui greeting others upon his release - Photo: Facebook / Pray for Early Rain Covenant Church
    Pastor An Yankui with his family and church.
    Photo: Facebook / Pray for Early Rain Covenant Church

    In VOMC's previously posted Persecution and Prayer Alert, it was reported that Pastor An Yankui had been arrested on December 30th and sentenced to 15 days in prison. (This particular report may be reviewed here.)

    Due to the nature of China's judicial system, there can be frequent uncertainty regarding the details of an arrested person's sentencing. In this case, however, we are thankful to report that Pastor An was indeed released on January 16th and joyfully greeted outside the detention centre by his family and fellow members of the Xuncheng Reformed Church.

  • Early Rain Covenant Church Further Targeted

    Li Yingqiang and his wife. - Photo: WeChat via ChinaAid www.chinaaid.org
    Li Yingqiang and his wife.
    Photo: WeChat via ChinaAid

    In December 2018, security forces raided the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, Sichuan. More than a hundred members were arrested, including Pastor Wang Yi, who has since been sentenced to nine years in prison. The location where the congregation met has been demolished and authorities have officially banned all future gatherings. Despite these measures, members of the church have sought alternate ways to continue meeting for worship and share the message of the Gospel. In response, security forces have continued to intimidate church members.

  • Close Monitoring of Pastor's Wife and Son

    Pastor Wang Yi with his family - Photo: ChinaAid www.chinaaid.org
    Pastor Wang Yi with his family
    Photo: ChinaAid

    Pastor Wang Yi of the Early Rain Covenant Church is presently serving a nine-year prison sentence. He was arrested, along with his wife, in December 2018. While Pastor Wang's wife, Jiang Rong, was released on bail, the authorities have barred her from interacting with family, friends, and church members. She is being constantly monitored by security agents and essentially has no freedom of movement.

  • Wife of Imprisoned Elder Begs for Prayer

    Qin Defu, wife, two children - Photo: Facebook / Pray for Early Rain Covenant Church
    Elder Qin Defu with his wife and children.
    Photo: Facebook / Pray for
    Early Rain Covenant Church

    In December 2018, raids on the Early Rain Covenant Church resulted in the detention of more than 100 Christians. All have since been released except for Pastor Wang Yi, who is serving a nine-year sentence, and elder Qin Defu, who was sentenced to four years in prison for "illegal business operations." For previous written reports on Qin's case and the difficulties faced by other members of Early Rain Covenant Church, go to this page.

  • Demolition & Detention on Easter Sunday

    "Donghu
    Donghu Church
    Photo: ChinaAid

    The Donghu Church in Xining has stood firm in the face of opposition for years. Even though it was officially approved by the Chinese authorities in 2003, this church of more than 300 members has faced problems for years.

    In December 2017, the fire department closed the building, citing an unspecified "hidden danger." Following this, the congregation purchased a new building but it was not approved. So the members began meeting in the Donghu Hotel instead. This was also opposed and, in December 2019, the fire department sealed the door. This did not stop the members, who climbed through a window of the church building to resume meeting together. On Christmas Day, however, the electrical power was cut off in the middle of the service and authorities told them the building would be demolished. For more details, see this report.

  • Pastor Wang Yi Sentenced to Nine Years

    Pastor Wang Yi and his wife, Jiang Rong - Photo: ChinaAid www.chinaaid.org
    Pastor Wang Yi and his wife, Jiang Rong
    Photo: ChinaAid

    In what is believed to be the longest sentence against a house church leader in more than a decade, Pastor Wang Yi of the Early Rain Covenant Church was sentenced to nine years in prison for "inciting to subvert state power" and "illegal business operations." The charges for business operations relate to the printing and distribution of Christian books by the church.

  • Four-Year Sentence for Church Elder

    A children's meeting at Early Rain Church - Photo: ChinaAid www.chinaaid.org
    Attendees of Early Rain Church.
    Photo: ChinaAid

    On the evening of December 9th, 2018, a coordinated attack against the Early Rain Covenant Church began, ultimately leading to dozens of arrests and the closing of the church (see this report). Over a year later, Pastor Wang Yi and others remain uncertain of the future, as they now contend with the outcome of court proceedings.

  • Upcoming Trial for Pastor Wang

    Wang Yi - Photo: ChinaAid www.chinaaid.org
    Wang Yi
    Photo: ChinaAid

    Wang Yi, pastor of the Early Rain Covenant Church, was arrested in December 2018 as part of coordinated raids against his church. Facing charges that could lead up to 15 years in prison, he has been patiently awaiting trial. On November 6th, Pastor Wang's lawyer, Zhang Peihong, received notification from the prosecutor that he would not be allowed to represent his client in court. The prosecutor claims that Zhang has too many ties with the pastor and his church.

  • Pastor's Wife Released on Bail

    Pastor Wang Yi and his wife, Jiang Rong - Photo: ChinaAid www.chinaaid.org
    Pastor Wang Yi and his wife,
    Jiang Rong in an undated photo.
    Photo: ChinaAid

    On the evening of December 9th, 2018, over 100 members of the Early Rain Covenant Church were arrested in coordinated raids on their homes. The pastor, Wang Yi, remains in detention, facing up to 15 years in prison. Several others, including his wife, also face charges. For more information on this incident, go to this page.

  • Mysterious Disappearance of Church Affiliate

    Worshipers meet outside. - Photo: ChinaAid www.chinaaid.org
    Early Rain Covenant Church meets outside.
    Photo: ChinaAid

    Since the arrest of over 100 members of the Early Rain Covenant Church in December, authorities have continued to charge, detain and harass Christians associated with the church. For more information on the original raid, click here.

    One member, Pan Fei, has been arrested several times since the original attack. After the first time he was detained, interrogated and released, he moved to a new home. Yet, he continued to be harassed by the local authorities who frequently broke into his residence.

  • Arrests of Inquiring Loved Ones

    Children of the Early Rain Covenant Church -- Photo: China Aid www.chinaaid.org
    Children meet at Early Rain Covenant Church.
    Photo: China Aid

    Five relatives were taken into custody after gathering outside a police station to ask about their loved ones on February 15th.

    On December 9th, around 100 members of the Early Rain Covenant Church, located in the city of Chengdu, had been taken into custody (see this report). At last report, several were still imprisoned. Concerned about the condition of their detained loved ones, and wanting more information, family members gathered outside the police station with their small children.