Congregants of Early Rain Covenant Church, Chengdu either forced to move out or unemployed; more crackdown happened
(Sichuan-September 20, 2018) Government’s crackdown on Early Rain Covenant Church, Chengdu is non-stopping. A sermon channel the church registered on “Netease” has been banned and all files have been deleted. A few dozens of volunteers and congregants and two campuses of the church have been forced to break the lease because Ethnic and Religious Affairs Administration put pressure on the landlords. Some congregants were unemployed because employers were put pressure on.
Wang Yi, pastor of Early Rain Covenant Church, said that some volunteers and congregants who host small groups at their places had been harassed by police or community officers recently. Two campuses of the church were raided by Ethnic and Religious Affairs Administration on the past two consecutive Sundays. The church’s channel on Netease is banned and all filed deleted.
He said, “It is nation-wide persecution and there will be a new plan targeting Early Rain Covenant Church soon.”
The church’s newsletter says that police, community officers and landlords put pressure on around 30 volunteers and congregants in the past week. Landlords of two campuses and a few households used as venues for fellowship asked to cancel the lease with them because of the pressure from Ethnic and Religious Affairs Administration. One brother was laid off with an excuse of work adjustment since the company was put pressure on.
The church asks all congregants to pray that Early Rain Covenant Church and campuses should obey God rather than humans in terms of worship and evangelical ministry per the principle of separation of state and religion. The church will neither acknowledge New Regulations and religious administration departments’ authority over the church nor accept any punishment against the church issued based on the illegitimate regulations.
Early Rain Covenant Church, Chengdu has been persecuted by authorities this year. One of the campuses, Linxishu Church, was raided by Ethnic and Religious Administration JInniu District and police last Sunday, September 16, so the service was disrupted and Cao Qingen, a minister, was taken away by police because he refused to stop the worship. Deacon He Xuedong continued to lead the worship. Afterword He Xuedong and the landlord of the campus were taken away by police as well. All three people were released that afternoon.
Early Rain Covenant Church, Chengdu organized a prayer meeting to remember victims on May 12, the 10 anniversary of Wenchuan Earthquake. Song Enguang, a congregant of the church, was slapped in the face by police, so Pastor Wangyi with the lawyer and other 10 people negotiated at the police station. Then they were detained with a charge of “disturbing social order” and weren’t released until the next morning.
George, Contributing Reporter, China Aid