Wang Yi's original statement, along with other materials posted publicly by Early Rain, do not belong to China Partnership, and therefore, we give broad permission to repost. However, translation is a literary art form and requires a significant effort. As such, we humbly request that all online media outlets give proper credit to the source of the original English translations and the efforts of those who are making them available.
Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family – the authorities are capable of doing all of these things. However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life; and no one can raise me from the dead.
Li Yingqiang (李英强), the last elder of Early Rain Covenant Church to be arrested, wrote this letter to the church just a few hours before being found in his hideout and arrested. In it, he describes the church's plan for facing this persecution in the following days, including where to worship next Sunday.
Over the weekend, news broke of Pastor Wang Yi’s arrest. This article was originally published on Wang Yi’s personal blog in November 2017 and is a fitting read for the events of the weekend. “What spiritual benefit does the current church-state conflict bring to the church and to Christians? How is this conflict God’s way to shepherd us?”
“Currently the Chinese seminaries are capable of training Masters of Divinity; only extraordinary scholars should come to the United States for their PhDs. It is not necessary to come to the United States to study for a Master of Divinity since the cost is too high.”
After hearing the testimony of church planting, I am no longer worried. I had wanted to build Rome in one day; but now I rely on Christ, facing each day’s hardship one day at a time; to live a day [at a time] and be faithful each day. Daily seeking God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness.
They live like robots with an especially strong life rhythm; they are very busy. Every day they are busy at work; they work overtime and are under a lot of pressure. Usually their family life is a mess, as they either have no time to care about it or are not concerned about it at all. This is why Shenzhen has serious public safety issues with a high crime rate.
If you live in the gospel, wherever Christ’s church is being built is the capital of the world. You can bring the gospel to the biggest city—a metropolis of tens of millions—or to a small town with only fifty thousand souls, because the Christian’s dream for a greater city has already been fulfilled.
Despite raids by police, house churches continue to meet and preach and pray on every Sunday. Their devotion to these spiritual disciplines is preparing their bodies and souls for whatever is to come. If we were placed in their situation, would our spiritual disciplines give us the resilience to endure this kind of suffering?