Early Rain Covenant Church Elder Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

December 1, 2019 — Leave a comment

Editors note: These updates are based on the Early Rain Covenant Church bulletins and reports from the church in Chengdu, China seeking to communicate with their church members in the underground movement and requesting prayer and help from the watching world, especially followers of Christ. The original Chinese report(s) and English translations are below. Special thanks to Brent Pinkall for translating these bulletins and reports and helping make them available to the public. Please pray and share with others.


He was charged with “illegal business operations” for his service at the church, which included providing books and printed resources for church members and printing and distributing hymnals.

Elder Qin Defu’s trial was held last week at the Chengdu Qingyang District People’s Court. He was charged with “illegal business operations” for his service at the church, which included providing books and printed resources for church members and printing and distributing hymnals. On November 29, he was sentenced to four years in prison, leaving behind a wife and two young children (photos below).

He was sentenced to four years in prison, leaving behind a wife and two young children.

According to Pastor Wang Yi’s previous lawyer, “Police reneged on their earlier promise to his family that if they accepted a government-appointed attorney, they would ‘go through the formalities then release him.’

The charge of ‘illegal business operations’ only concerned 20,000 books for the church’s own use … and Pastor Wang Yi actively took most of the responsibility for this in his testimony.” Based on this sentence of a church elder, the lawyer said, “I estimate that Pastor Wang Yi will be sentenced to no less than 10 years in prison.”

The following is from Pastor Wang Yi’s previous lawyer:

Original:
今天下午,覃德富长老的案子突然宣判,覃弟兄被以非法经营罪判处有期徒刑四年。警方违背了此前要求家属接受官派律师时所作“走个过场就放人”的承诺。从覃弟兄的开庭审理中获悉,所谓非法经营,仅是教会自用的两万余册书籍(其中大部分只是类似“你不想听的好消息”这种传福音用的小册子),而且王怡牧师在证词中还主动承担了大部分责任。据此大致可以判断,王怡牧师的刑期不会低于十年。

“This afternoon, Elder Qin Defu was suddenly sentenced. Brother Qin was sentenced to four years in prison for ‘illegal business operations.’ Police reneged on their earlier promise to his family that if they accepted a government-appointed attorney, they would ‘go through the formalities then release him.’ At brother Qin’s trial, we learned that the charge of ‘illegal business operations’ only concerned 20,000 books for the church’s own use (most of these were small gospel tracts like ‘The Good News You Don’t Want to Hear’), and Pastor Wang Yi actively took most of the responsibility for this in his testimony. Based on this, I estimate that Pastor Wang Yi will be sentenced to no less than 10 years in prison.”


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