Archives For Italy

Left: Steve Childers and Wang Yi meet in Chengdu, China on Friday, December 7, 2018.
Right: After police conduct raids on homes of Early Rain Church members and leaders on December 8, Wang Yi begins his 10-years in custody on December 9, 2018.

Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Hebrews 13:3


After spending more than a year in prison, Chinese authorities release a photo of persecuted Chinese pastor Wang Yi in handcuffs, while church leaders around the world call for Christians to continue praying for him and the church in China still facing persecution.

On December 9th, 2018, Chinese authorities arrested more than 100 members and church leaders of Early Rain Covenant Church (秋雨圣约教会) including prominent Pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong.

One year later, after a secret trial on December 26th, 2019, Pastor Wang Yi was sentenced to 9 years in prison for “inciting to subvert state power” and “illegal business operations” where he remains in custody. Wang Yi denies all charges. Wang’s sentencing was condemned by Amnesty International China as making a “mockery of China’s supposed religious freedoms.”

China’s officially atheist ruling party has been seeking to rein in religious expression, including removing crosses from unofficial and official churches. More widely, the party has incarcerated more than a million members of Islamic ethnic minorities (Uighurs) in what are called “re-education centers.”

Christianity Today reported earlier this year that both US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom Sam Brownback had rebuked China’s “war on faith,” while the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) bashed the country’s growing religious freedom violations.

On Easter Sunday Chinese police conducted raids on the homes of several Early Rain Church members and leaders for worshiping online. At least eight people were detained, according to Radio Free Asia.

Chinese Authorities Ban Online Preaching and Order Home Worship Meetings Immediately Eradicated

Shandong province’s two state-run Christian organizations, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement and China Christian Council [the TSPM and CCC, respectively] released a statement on February 23, 2020. In it, they claimed “supervision departments” ordered all online preaching be ceased and churches that gather in secret be rooted out.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, internet-based services have increased significantly among both registered churches and the non-registered churches after being shut down by authorities.

“Please pray!”

Church members praying at Early Rain Church in Chengdu, China.

Please share this need and pray for the people of China and their church planters, pastors, missionaries and churches seeking to serve and love them well during this crisis.


We help underserved church leaders develop churches that transform lives and communities


As millions of followers of Jesus gather in their homes around the world to worship using online platforms during this coronavirus pandemic, Chinese authorities ban all online preaching and order home worship meetings be rooted out, according to human rights group ChinaAid.

Shandong province’s two state-run Christian organizations, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement and China Christian Council [the TSPM and CCC, respectively] released a statement on February 23, 2020. In it, they claimed “supervision departments” ordered all online preaching be ceased and churches that gather in secret be rooted out. See notice below in Chinese and English.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, internet-based services have increased significantly among both registered churches and the non-registered churches after being shut down by authorities.

Along with the restriction on online preaching, the notice also calls on the churches to assist in the rooting out of any non-approved churches in their communities. They’re being told to “positively guide” those Christians in ways their spiritual needs can be met, provided there would be no in-person meetings and no online worship or preaching.

See Prison Photo Released of Handcuffed Persecuted Chinese Pastor Wang Yi

Church members praying at Early Rain Church in Chengdu, China.

“Please pray!”

Please share this need and pray for the people of China and their church planters, pastors, missionaries and churches seeking to serve and love them well during this crisis.


We help underserved church leaders develop churches that transform lives and communities

As of March 10, the coronavirus infections in Italy increased by 24% from March 9, official figures showed, and the death toll jumped from 366 to 463. Italy is the worst-hit country after China. Cases of the virus have now been confirmed in all 20 Italian regions.

Church planters, pastors, and missionaries serving the Italian people through new churches in Italy are being faced with increasing challenges. Church planting team leader, Justin Valiquette, with Impatto – Acts 29 Italy, reported to Steve Childers today:

“We are all essentially on lockdown. Schools closed nationwide until April 3. Local businesses are really suffering. There is a lot of uncertainty and mild panic for some. Public gatherings or even being out in public socially is being restricted. We cannot meet legally, so we are starting to do Zoom (video) call on Sundays and for weekly community gatherings.” – Justin Valiquette, church planter, Impatto – Acts 29 Italy

Valiquette is helping lead and train a network of church planters and leaders in Italy. The map below shows the locations of church leaders throughout the country taking Pathway Learning church planting courses in Italian.

“Please pray!”

Please share this need and pray for the people of Italy and these church planters, pastors, missionaries and churches seeking to serve and love them well during this crisis.

“Please pray that we would understand how to navigate this delicate situation and find ways to love our neighbors well. Pray we would stay united as we seek to shine as light in this darkness.”

– Justin Valiquette

We help underserved church leaders develop churches that transform lives and communities