Archives For Persecution

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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Church members praying at Early Rain Church in Chengdu, China before widespread persecution and imprisonment began on 12/9/2018.

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

On December 9th, 2018, Chinese authorities arrested more than 100 members of Early Rain Covenant Church (秋雨圣约教会) in Chengdu, China. Some members were interrogated at the police station and then released, while others were imprisoned.

Please pray for Pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong, who were charged with “inciting to subvert state power” and taken to secret locations, where they are still in prison. Please also pray for Elder Li Yingqiang (Elder Timothy), who was charged with “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and is still in prison.

Pastor Wang Yi 王怡 (inciting to subvert state power, in secret detention)

王怡牧师(煽动颠覆国家政权罪,秘密关押)

Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong 蒋蓉 (inciting to subvert state power, 12/10/18, in secret detention)

蒋蓉师母(煽动颠覆国家政权罪,2018年12月10日,秘密关押/指定监视居住)

Elder Li Yingqiang (Elder Timothy) 李英强 (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)

李英强长老(寻衅滋事罪


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Pathway Learning 

US State Department Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom speaks at the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong.

Editor’s Note: Ambassador Samuel D. Brownback is the US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom in the U.S. Department of State. On March 8, 2019 he spoke at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Hong Kong. Below is an excerpt of his remarks regarding the Chinese government’s persecution of Christians in China. The entire transcript of his remarks are available at the U.S. Consulate/Hong Kong website: https://hk.usconsulate.gov/n-2019030801/


In Chengdu, government authorities forcefully detained over 200 members of the Early Rain Covenant Church, Sichuan Province’s; it was the largest house church, in May 2018, for commemorating the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.

Seven months later, in December 2018, government authorities once again arrested more than 100 Early Rain members, confiscated the church’s Bibles and other religious materials, and permanently closed the church.

At least a dozen remain detained and their whereabouts and health conditions remain unknown, while the Chinese authorities prevent them from seeing their family members, or even talking with their lawyers.

Meanwhile, the government continues to monitor, harass, and, in some cases, physically assault family members of the detainees and prevents them from worshipping in even small groups. In one case, a security official kicked the elderly mother of the Early Rain lead pastor Wang Yi until she collapsed on the ground while violently ripping her hair.

Chinese authorities have charged Pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong with “inciting subversion of state power.” China is using baseless political charges to attack individuals for simply practicing their faith.

The authorities have detained both parents of several infants and toddlers, meaning these young children are residing with relatives, but without any knowledge of whether or not they will ever see their fathers or mothers again, or even knowing if those parents are still alive.

Chinese authorities have charged Pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong with “inciting subversion of state power.” China is using baseless political charges to attack individuals for simply practicing their faith.

Pastor Wang instructed his followers to release his “Declaration of Faithful Disobedience” – which I urge people to read; it is an amazing letter- if authorities detained him for more than 48 hours. Chinese authorities have detained Pastor Wang a number of times already for his courage and outspokenness, including most recently for initiating a nationwide petition reiterating house churches’ refusal to register with the government-backed Three-Self Patriotic Movement.

His words and call to action for how Christians should carry out what he calls “faithful disobedience” – distinct from political or civil disobedience – inspires me and many others. We believe that Chinese authorities wanted to send a message to others who dare follow in his footsteps and defy the Communist Party.

But as a man of faith myself, I think the Chinese Communist Party may have done the opposite. When faith is under attack, it grows stronger. In Scriptures, and throughout church history, we see persecution sparking resolve and perseverance in the faith.

I stand here today in support of Pastor Wang, his wife, and other members of their church and call on the Chinese authorities to release them immediately.

The resolve of the Early Rain Covenant Church community and countless others facing severe persecution is unshaken because they know that fighting for their right to freely exercise their beliefs is not wrong, no matter how heavy-handed the punishment and severe the mistreatment.

I stand here today in support of Pastor Wang, his wife, and other members of their church and call on the Chinese authorities to release them immediately.


We help under-served church leaders
develop churches that transform lives and communities.