Members of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, gather and pray.
Editor’s note: The most recent persecution of Christians in Chengdu, China began December 9 when Chinese authorities took into custody the pastor of Early Rain Covenant Church, Wang Yi and his wife. They are still in custody. Early Rain Covenant Church is affiliated with a Christian school (Early Rain Academy), a Christian liberal arts college (Western China Covenant College), and a seminary (Western China Covenant Theological Seminary). The college and the seminary have male and female dormitories. On December 9 and 10, the Chinese police broke into four dormitories and forcefully removed many students without “any cause or procedure.” The students were taken into custody, fingerprinted, and transferred to the Chengdu Xinjin County Legal Education Center.
Some students have been released but approximately 50 are still in custody. This report below, in Chinese and English, describes the events that took place with the students from December 9 to December 12. We thank Brent Pinkall for his contribution in translating this report into English.
Western China Covenant College 12/9 Persecution Update
Members of the body who are deeply concerned about us, peace be with you! Beginning on December 9th, Early Rain Covenant Church, Early Rain Academy, the seminary, and the liberal arts college were persecuted one after another in various ways. The pastor and elders were forcefully taken away. Four student dormitories were consecutively broken into. All students in the dormitories were forcefully taken away without any cause or procedure.
On Dec. 9 at around 8:30 p.m., the Shubei Xiang male dormitory of the liberal arts college was broken into and all of the brothers were forcefully taken away, 8 in total.
On Dec. 9 at around 8:37 p.m., the Caojia Xiang female dormitory of the liberal arts college was broken into and all of the sisters were taken away in two waves, 12 in total. After being taken to the Caojia Xiang Police Station and fingerprinted, they were transferred to the Xinjin County Legal Education Center around midnight.
On Dec. 9 in the evening, the Yinghua Si male dormitory of the liberal arts college was broken into. Brother Weng Guanghe was taken away. Shortly afterwards, police came back and took away 4 undergraduate brothers.
On Dec. 9 at around 10:00 p.m., brother Jianqing of the liberal arts college and sister Li Chengju from his small group were detained at the home of another believer. Their personal information was illegally searched because they both refused to cooperate with officers exercising various degrees of violence. They were then handcuffed and taken to Chenghua Tiaodeng River Police Station. (That evening there was a special couples small-group dinner. Without following any proper protocol, 12 plain-clothes officers forced there way into the living room and took Deacon Ge Yingfeng away into custody.)
On Dec. 10 at around 10:00 p.m., the door of the Taisheng Building dormitory of the liberal arts college was pried open. Sister Zhang Yan and sister Wu Zongman were taken from the dormitory.
On Dec. 10 at around 10:00 p.m., brother Jianqing was released.
On Dec. 11 at around 11:00 a.m., the door of the Taisheng Building dormitory was forced open again and the remaining 10 female students were all taken away, the youngest being 16-years-old.
At this time, the liberal arts college estimates that 36 students were taken away. We have not received news about them. We only know that they were taken to the Chengdu Xinjin County Legal Education Center.
On Dec. 11 at around 2:00 p.m., sister Xiao Yue was deported from the Xinjin education center back to her registered permanent address in Dayi County. She is at home now, and we have contacted her. She is in good condition.
On Dec. 12 at around 9:00 p.m., sister Zhou Xiaojuan was released from Xinjin Education Center and deported to her hometown. She told us that there are still more than 50 brothers and sisters being detained at the Xinjin Legal Education Center, waiting to be deported back to their hometowns. But they all have freedom of movement, and everyone is extremely joyful and unified. After being detained unlawfully for more than 48 hours, everyone took the initiative to choose a representative from among them to negotiate with police and ask for them to give back their Bibles and to grant them freedom to worship. They also decided to fast. Thank the Lord! Negotiations were successful to the point that everyone can read the Bible and have corporate worship. Every day a seminary student leads worship in the morning and evening. They worship continually on the outdoor balcony. The detention center has become a preaching grounds for the Lord’s gospel and a place for his people to worship. Glory to the Lord! May the Lord be glorified! When we heard this news we were greatly comforted. Sister Xiaojuan said that the brothers and sisters inside are in a very stable condition and very joyful. There have been no issues. They’ve been guaranteed standard food and shelter. Everyone is greatly cherishing their time locked up, worshiping together. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!
At the same time, sister Wu Zongman was released from Hua Yang Police Station. We have not yet made contact with her.”
华西圣约人文学院 12.9 逼迫简讯
各位在主里深深挂念我们的肢体们 平安!12 月 9 日下午开始，秋雨圣 约 教会，秋雨学堂，神学院，人文 学院 相继经历了各种方式的逼迫。 牧师长执被强行带走，人文学院的
四间学 生宿舍相继被破门，在没有 任何手续和理由的情况下，宿舍内 的所有同学均被强行带走。
12 月 9 日晚上 8 点半左右人文学院 树蓓巷男生宿舍被破门，所有弟兄 被非 法带走，共 8 人。
12月9日晚上8点37分，人文学院 曹家巷女生宿舍被破门，分两次带 走了所有姊妹，共 12 人。在曹家巷 派出所录指纹后半夜被转移到新津 县法制教育中心。
12 月 9 日晚上人文学院蓥华寺男生 宿舍被破门，翁广河弟兄被带走， 随后又返回宿舍带走另外四位本科 的弟兄。
12 月 9 日晚约 10 点左右，人文学院 建青弟兄和同小组的李成菊姊妹被 扣押在另外一位信徒家中，非法调 查个人信息，因为拒绝配合两人被 不同程度的施暴。之后被反绑带去 成华跳腊河派出所。(当晚是夫妻 小组爱筵，12 位以上的便衣在未出 示任何手续的情况下强行闯入客厅
12 月 10 日晚 10 点左右，人文学院 太升大厦宿舍被警方撬门，张燕姊 妹和吴宗蔓姊妹被从宿舍带走。
12 月 10 日晚 10 点左右，建青弟兄 被释放。
12 月 11 日上午 11 点左右，人文学 院太升大厦宿舍再次被破门，剩余 10 名女生全部被带走，最小的仅 16 岁。
至此，人文学院共计有 36 位同学被 带走，至今杳无音信，没有任何消 息。仅知道全部都被带到成都新津 县的法制教育中心。
12 月 11 日下午两点半左右，肖月姊 妹被从新津带回户籍地大邑县，被 遣返在家，目前已联系到，情况良 好。
12 月 12 日晚 9 点左右，周小娟姊妹 从新津释放，被遣送回老家。已经 确定联系，并告知我们仍有 50 多位
弟兄姊妹在新津县法制教育中心集 中关押，等待被遣送回原籍。但都 有活动自由，大家也都非常喜乐和 合一，在超过 48 小时的非法拘禁 后，大家自发从中选举出代表，与 警方谈判，要求返回圣经和自由敬 拜，并决定禁食。感谢主，谈判争 取到大家可以读 圣经，并可以有公 共崇拜，大家每日上下午都有神学 生带领敬拜，在居住的户外露台上 敬拜不断。拘留所成为主福音的布 道场和祂儿女们敬拜的地方，荣耀 归于主!愿主得荣耀!我们听到此 消息后大得安慰，小娟姊妹称里面 的弟兄姊妹目前状态非常稳定和喜 乐，没有任何状况，食宿生活正常 有保障，大家都非常珍惜在被捆绑 中一起的敬拜。主的灵在哪里， 哪 里就有自由! 相同时间，吴宗蔓姊 妹被华阳派出所释放，暂未联系。