LIVE POST - Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Updates

As news of Wang Yi’s arrest and the persecution of Early Rain Covenant Church begins to gain increased attention across various media platforms, China Partnership is concerned that an accurate narrative of events is made available. In an effort to help establish the correct timeline of events and an accurate understanding of the level of persecution, we have agreed to maintain a live post of the updates coming directly from Early Rain itself. All new updates posted by Early Rain will be posted here within 24 hours of release.

Additional materials:

Letter for All Christian Churches to Pray for Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, by Western China Presbytery
China Partnership’s Early Rain Prayer Guide, by Ryan Zhang
My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience, by Wang Yi
Wang Yi’s 14 Decisions: In the Face of Persecution, What Will I Do?, by Wang Yi
How the Church Should Face Persecution, by Li Yingqiang
The Church-State Conflict: 20 Ways Persecution Is God’s Way to Shepherd Us, by Wang Yi
A Statement from CP on Requests for Permission to Repost Early Rain Material, by Hannah Nation

We also hope that as you read these updates you will pray for these brothers and sisters, bringing them before the throne of our Heavenly Father.

Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (06/19/19)

June 11: Pastor Wang Yi’s wife Jiang Rong was released on bail and sent to her brother’s house, where she is being monitored. At the moment, no one can see her except close relatives. In addition, sister Li Xiaofeng and her husband were sent back to Guangxi. Deacon Ge Yingfeng, who was released on bail on June 14th, was also sent back to Shanghai with his family. May our Heavenly Father continue to bestow abundant grace on them and surround them and their families with steadfast love.

The church is the home of the eternal God. “And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.” (Heb. 3:6) One year ago during the Lord’s Day on Father’s Day, Pastor Wang Yi called on brothers in the church who were fathers to pledge to fulfill their duties as fathers. On Father’s Day this year, we are thankful for our Heavenly Father’s protection and guidance of our church over the past six months. Only our Heavenly Father can make us one in the Truth and build us up together in love.

We also pray especially for those members in the church who are going through various difficult circumstances. “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.” (Is. 40:29) May our Heavenly Father look after those brothers and sisters who are ill or in the process of healing. May he comfort those who are grieving in tears. May he show mercy toward our children and our relatives. And may he grant us sufficient grace and opportunities to help each other.

Over the past week or two, we have seen authorities continue to put great pressure on house churches in cities like Chengdu, Xiamen, and Taiyuan. As the church faces this nation-wide persecution, we ask God to protect his church and to train up his children in the midst of this unique situation. May these trials not breed fear but rather hearts full of love and hope. May we always be ready to respond with meekness and reverence to those civil servants, police officers and community monitors who do not generally give themselves the opportunity to hear the gospel.

Recent events in Hong Kong have attracted the attention of the whole world. As the Lord’s church faces societal changes and challenges, may it use this opportunity to reflect on and pray for the healing of society’s wounds. And may the church and Christians proclaim to this world even more proactively and courageously that Christ is the only hope and means of escape for the world and that he alone is our peace. (Eph. 2:14) Christians are children of peace. May the Lord lead his children in the midst of these trials and helps us to walk the straight path.

June 17: In the evening, there was a category 6 earthquake (the center of the earthquake was in Yibin, Sichuan Province, and there were strong tremors in Chengdu). It was as if God was reminding the church and Christians again of Hebrews 12:28: “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” May every persecution and trial be for us an opportunity for greater repentance, greater wakefulness, greater steadfastness, greater commitment, and greater service.

To quote the words of a pastor during the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake: “May the unshakeable kingdom of Christ become for us, in the midst of these turbulent times of calamity, a sure foundation and the goal and motivation for our lives. May the unshakeable kingdom of Christ be manifest through us and spread to every nation and tribe and people and tongue. May the unshakeable kingdom of Christ swallow up everything that can be shaken, so that all people might fall down at the feet of Christ and give to God the glory he is due.”

Early Rain Covenant Church
June 19, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (06/11/19)

June 1, Children’s Day: On his way back home with his grandson, Deacon Xu tried to drop off some wrapped dumplings at the home of Pastor Wang Yi’s parents and his son Shuya. Police warned him and told him that he was not allowed to step foot near Wangjiaguai (the location of Wang Yi’s home and of the place where his parents are currently living) and also that he couldn’t have contact with families living near his own home for the next few days.

June 4, the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre: This was the final day of our church’s month of prayer for the country. Many brothers and sisters fasted at home, prayed, and sought peace for this city. Nevertheless, many families were told ahead of time that they weren’t allowed to leave their homes or meet with others. Police surveillance was increased at the homes of some families. The electricity and internet were cut off at the homes of others. Police and community monitors even forcibly entered the homes of a few families.

One incident especially worth mentioning concerns brother Wang. That night, more than ten officers from the Chenghua Public Security Bureau office, the Tiaodeng River Police Station, and the sub-district and community offices forcibly entered brother Wang’s home. They first cut off his electricity. Then they presented a summons for brother Zhang, brother Wang, and sister Tang to go to the police station. At the time, brother Zhang was just taking some fruit to brother Wang’s family and eating dinner with them. Brother Zhang and Brother Wang were taken away and interrogated late into the night before returning home.

June 5: Sister Zhang Xinyue (the wife of Elder Li Yingqiang), who previously took her two children back to her hometown in Gansu, sent out an urgent prayer request. For the past few months, local officials from the Education Bureau have continually visited her home and threatened her, saying that if she does not send her children to the village school, the Public Security Bureau will come and take her away, forcibly take her children to school, and change their legal guardians to their grandparents. On June 6th, she and her children moved back to Chengdu. Because the lock on her front door was filled with glue, she had to replace it in order to get in. Local police and community grid monitors have begun monitoring them. Because their landlord is facing so much pressure, she notified them that they must move out soon.

June 9, the Lord’s Day: This day marked 6 months since the Dec. 9th raid on Early Rain Covenant Church. It was also Pentecost Sunday, which marks the descending of the Holy Spirit. Many Christians and churches have been waiting on the Lord together for a long time. May he be with us and grant us mercy and grace. May he stretch out his mighty arm and help the members of his Body, both those in jail and out of jail.

We know well that those persecuting us are living in the midst of anxiety and fear and have no freedom. In the end, they will fall into the nets they have laid. But God grants heavenly peace and renewed strength to his children. Recently, a few more churches in Chengdu have also lost their church buildings and the ability to worship publicly. May God grant wisdom and courage to more churches. Our hope is that this verse would be true of our country: “Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky.” (Ps. 85:10-11)

June 11: According to our lawyers and some family members of those in the detention center, Pastor Wang Yi’s wife Jiang Rong and sister Li Xiaofeng were released on bail pending trial. Shuya has already been reunited with his mother. Another brother is also in the process of being released on bail, but we do not yet know the details. We are thankful for God’s love and his promises. We are thankful for the prayers and watchfulness of Christians everywhere. We are thankful for the perseverance and patience of our brothers and sisters. May the Lord continue to protect and guide our pastor and elders who are still in jail.

Early Rain Covenant Church
June 11, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (5/30/2019)

5/14: Brothers Wu Wuqing and Wang Jun, who were placed in administrative detention for fifteen days, completed their sentences and returned to their homes. Officers have recently begun monitoring them and other brothers and sisters or increasing the number of those monitoring and following them. One brother submitted a request for administrative review of his case after previously being placed in administrative detention. Local police came to his home to speak with him in hopes that he would retract his application for review.

5/15: The lock on brother Tang and sister Zheng’s front door was previously filled with glue and their electric meter was stolen. Their landlord went to the electric company and canceled their account because he could not handle the pressure from police and community monitors. Brother Tang and sister Zheng were therefore forced to use candles for light. In the end, the landlord broke their contract and urged them to move out.

5/16: Sister Yang (the widow of brother Zhang Xianchi, who was taken by the Lord earlier this year after being diagnosed with a serious form of cancer) had surgery to remove a tumor from her pancreas. Brothers and sisters took turns visiting her and bringing her food while she rested in the hospital. We are thankful that God leads his disciples. The more difficult circumstances they encounter, the more they demonstrate love for each other. May the Lord heal and comfort the many brothers and sisters who are ill, and may he guide and protect each person and family as we face battles both in our families and in our church.

He who is of the darkness comes only to steal and destroy, but our good shepherd has come that we may have life and have it abundantly. (Jn. 10:10) “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.” (2 Cor. 3:17) The church of the Lord is the manifestation of God’s free and glorious kingdom on earth. He is with his church. May he display his marvelous works and power to his church and to the world.

Regardless of the current political situation, may the Lord continue to lead and build his church. May he grant heavenly freedom, peace, and joy to Early Rain Covenant Church and to every church. May he help us to face every form of persecution and hardship with meekness, endurance, courage, and wisdom, and may he help us to continue to fulfill the mission he has given us. “Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!” (Ps. 80:3)

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Col. 3:1-4) Lord, show us your glory! May that reviving Spirit of fire revive us! May that Spirit that moved previous generations of saints move us twice as much as it did them!

Early Rain Covenant Church
May 30, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (5/13/2019)

May 1: During the Labor Day break, as brother Xiao and sister Chen tried to take their child to the park to play, the police officers who have been monitoring them prevented them from leaving. The reason given was that brother Xiao was wearing a t-shirt with an Early Rain Covenant Church logo on it. Even though the couple was willing to compromise with the officers, their whole family was taken to the Funan Police Station. They did not return home until later that evening. Another family that had originally planned to go play with them was also told they weren’t allowed to leave their home because members of Early Rain are not allowed to meet together.

May 7: Brother Ding Shuqi, who has been locked up at the Chengdu Detention Center for five months, was released on bail pending trial. National security officers escorted him from Chengdu to Xi’an. He will continue to be monitored at his home in Xi’an.

Over a month ago, brother Liu, who was previously released on bail and deported back to his hometown in Hubei Province, was struck from behind by an unidentified man, causing intracranial hemorrhaging. He was hospitalized for eight days before being released. May the Lord comfort him and heal him.

And may the Lord help all of our other brothers and sisters residing in various cities to stand strong together in the Lord. Our enemies want to make us afraid, but God will give us resolve, love, and faithfulness. May the Lord lead us and help us to receive grace and power from him each day through Bible reading, prayer, and fellowship.

May 10: Mr. Fang and a few elementary school students were studying in a teacher’s studio at his home when Mr. Fang was taken away by police around noon. He was taken to two police stations and interrogated five times. He was not released until late that night. The owner of the studio, Mr. Yu, and his family members were investigated and threatened.

May 12th through June 4th is the “Month of Prayer for Our Nation” each year at Early Rain Covenant Church. This year, more and more churches all over the nation are being persecuted, ordered to stop meeting together, and shut down. May the Lord lead his children, and may we sacrifice our knees in prayer through these difficult times, praying for all people and keeping watch for our nation. May the Lord show favor toward his church and grant us peace in the midst of storms and darkness. And may he cause the gospel to go forward throughout the earth. “Do not fear what you are about to suffer…Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10)

There is persecution without and war within. But “who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” (1 Pet. 3:13-16). May the Lord strengthen all of his churches and children on this earth who are united together!

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Col. 3:1-4) Lord, show us your glory. May the Spirit of fire revive us. May that Spirit that moved the saints of past generations move us even more!

Early Rain Covenant Church
May 13, 2019

List of Christians Jailed or Missing Throughout the "12/9" Persecution

Criminal Detention: 28 (20 have been released, 8 still in detention)

1. Pastor Wang Yi 王怡 (inciting to subvert state power, in secret detention)
2. Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong 蒋蓉 (inciting to subvert state power, 12/10/18, in secret detention) 
3. Elder Li Yingqiang 李英强 (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
4. Elder Qin Defu 覃德富 (illegal business operations)
5. Deacon Ge Yingfeng 葛迎锋 (illegal business operations)
6. Sister Li Xiaofeng 李晓凤 (illegal business operations)
7. Brother Ding Shuqi 丁书奇 (originally lost contact for a long time, we have now confirmed that he is detained)
8. Brother Gou Zhongcan 苟中灿 (lost contact on 3/15/19, on 3/18/19, someone saw him at the Hangzhou East Station handcuffed, with his head shaved, being escorted by multiple plainclothes officers; we do not know where he was being taken)

*9. Brother Pan Fei 潘飞 (lost contact on 3/4/19, we have now been informed that he is in criminal detention, charges still unknown)
*10. Elder Su Bingsen 苏炳森 (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, detained on 12/15/18 at Chengdu City Detention Center)
*11. Brother Shen Bing 沈冰 (detained on 03/22/19 at Chengdu Detention Center for writing a response to one of Wang Yi’s sermons)
*12. Brother Song Enguang 宋恩光 (illegal business operations, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center; currently released on bail pending trial) 
*13. Preacher Cao Qingen 曹庆恩 (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, detained on 12/14/18 at Chengdu Detention Center; currently released on bail pending trial)
*14. Sister Zhang Xiaohong 张晓红 (taken by the Cao Shi Road Police Station on 01/23/19 at 10:00 p.m. and placed in criminal detention; currently released on bail pending trial)
*15. Preacher Cheng Zhangchun 程章纯 (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/15/18 on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and transferred to criminal detention after serving his sentence; 1/27/19 released on bail pending trial)
*16. Brother Zhu Xiaoguang 朱晓光 (illegal business operations, detained on 12/13/18 at Chengdu City Detention Center; 01/09/19 released on bail pending trial)
*17. Sister Huang Yutian 黄于阗 (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, a Christian from Chongqing, detained for visiting a sister from Early Rain; 01/13/19 released on bail pending trial)
*18. Brother Wang Fei 王飞 (picking quarrels and provoking trouble; 01/14/19 released on bail pending trial)
*19. Brother Luo Yao 罗耀 (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, illegal business operations, detained on 12/12/18 at Chengdu City Detention Center; 01/12/19 released on bail pending trial)
*20. Sister Lü Jinheng 吕金衡 (illegal business operations; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial)
*21. Brother Fu Lijun 付礼俊 (illegal business operations; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial)
*22. Sister Huang Yaling 黄雅玲 (picking quarrels and provoking trouble; 01/12/19 released on bail pending trial)
*23. Brother Liu Yingxu 刘应许 (originally lost contact for a long time; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial, after which we learned that he had been locked up)
*24. Brother Zhu Dong 朱东 (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, detained on 12/15/18 at Chengdu City Detention Center; 01/14/19 released on bail pending trial)
*25. Brother Liang Huali 梁华利 (illegal business operations; 3/16/19 released on bail pending trial)
*26. Brother Dai Zhichao 戴志超 (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, detained on 12/19/18 at Chengdu City Detention Center; 3/17/19 released on bail pending trial)
*27. Elder Li Zihu 李子虎 (picking quarrels and provoking trouble; 3/17/19 released on bail pending trial)
*28. Brother Zhang Guoqing 张国庆 (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, detained on 2/24/18; 3/28/19 released on bail pending trial)

Administrative Detention: 28 (25 have fulfilled their sentences, 1 was transferred to criminal detention) 

55. Brother Wang Jun (placed in administrative detention on 4/30/19 for 15 days)
56. Brother Wu Wuqing (placed in administrative detention on 4/30/19 for 15 days)

29. Sister Zheng Chuanjuan 郑传娟 (placed in administrative detention on 3/12/19 for 14 days; sentence completed)
30. Brother Chen Shaowen 陈绍文 (placed in administrative detention on 3/3/19 for 14 days; sentence completed)
31. Brother Zhang Qi 张起 (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 2/24/19; sentence completed)
32. Brother Yang Jian 杨建 (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 2/24/19; sentence completed)
33. Brother A-Xin 阿信 (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 2/24/19; sentence completed)
34. Brother Zhang Jianqing 张建青 (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
35. Sister Yu Zhixue 尉志雪 (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
36. Brother Hou Hongen 侯宏恩 (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
37. Brother Luo Zhipeng 雒志鹏 (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
38. Sister Yang Duli 杨都丽 (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
39. Brother Zhu Xiaoguang 朱晓光 (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
40. Brother Zhang Guanya 张冠亚 (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
41. Brother Huang Guangtai 黄光泰 (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
42. Brother Tang Chunliang 汤春亮 (beaten by police, condition unknown, placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
43. Brother Zhang Jianqing 张建青 (placed in administrative detention on 1/13/19 for 15 days for attending a Bible study; sentence completed)
44. Sister Yu Zhixue 尉志雪 (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/13/19 for attending a Bible study; sentence completed)
45. Brother Qiu Hao 邱皓 (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/13/19 for attending a Bible study; sentence completed)
46. Sister Zhang Haiyan 张海燕 (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/13/19 for attending a Bible study; sentence completed)
47. Sister Li Chengju 李成菊 (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/6/19 for attending a Bible study; sentence completed)
48. Brother Zhu Hong 朱红 (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/6/19 for attending a Bible study; sentence completed)
49. Sister Deng Keli 邓柯利 (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/6/19 for attending a Bible study; sentence completed)
50. Brother Wang Jun 王军 (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/18/18 for worshipping outdoors; sentence completed)
51. Brother Liu Hongliang 刘洪良 (placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 12/17/18 for posting a prayer letter about the 12/9 persecution; sentence completed)
52. Brother Liu Xin 刘鑫 (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/10/18; sentence completed)
53. Brother Shen Bing 沈冰 (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/17/18; sentence completed)
54. Preacher Cheng Zhangchun 程章纯 (placed in administrative detention on 12/15/18 for 14 days on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” then transferred to criminal detention)

Early Rain Covenant Church 
April 30, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (4/30/2019)

April 22: Brother Shen returned home after completing his one-month sentence at the Chengdu Detention Center. He will continue to live at home under residential surveillance for half a year. He is experiencing lower back pain as a result of his time in jail. May the Lord lead and protect all of the brothers and sisters who are either still in jail or who have been released on bail pending trial and sent back to their hometowns, for they are facing great physical and spiritual challenges. May we pray for them and look out for them. 

April 22-28: The homes of two couples, brother Tang and sister Zheng and brother Zhang and sister Yu, were vandalized. They live in the Xiaoguanmiao community on Taisheng Road in Qingyang District. The locks on their doors were filled with glue, the electricity meter was stolen, their water was cut off, and the words “murder, life for life” and “payback for your debt” were spray-painted on the wall by their doors. The locks were immediately replaced, but someone filled them with glue again multiple times over the next few nights. People have also continued to visit their homes to threaten them to move. Those who are threatening them have said they don’t care about the law. Each time the couples have reported the incidents to the police, the only response from the police, the community monitors, and the property management has been, “If you don’t feel safe you can move.” 

April 29: On Monday, Mr. Wang, a teacher at the church school, was having class along with a few students at brother Wu’s house. At noon, multiple police and community monitors entered brother Wu’s home. Mr. Wang and brother Wu and his wife were taken away. The students were kept there and monitored. Sister Tang called the police station and found out that they were taken to the Jianshe Road Police Station and interrogated by national security from Chenghua District. In the afternoon, the students’ parents were detained while trying to pick them up. The parents learned that all of the children were questioned without them present and interrogation reports were written up (this is a violation of relevant laws). 

Some books, gospel tracts, computers, and phones were confiscated from brother Wu’s home. After midnight, sister Xiong, brother Wu’s wife, was taken back to her home. On the morning of the 30th, sister Xiong and sister Tang went to the police station to inquire about their husbands. They were told that brother Wu and Mr. Wang were placed in administration detention for fifteen days and that they had already been sent to the Chengdu Detention Center. This is the second time that brother Wang has been arrested since December of last year. At that time he was arrested for worshipping outdoors in public and was placed in administrative detention for fifteen days. This time he was arrested for homeschooling. 

“He bore the curse, that I might be blessed; He drank the cup, that I might feast. For he lives and was wounded out of love for me.” “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” (Heb. 9:27) Jesus Christ bore the punishment we deserve for our sins. Those words that were spray-painted on those homes still reflect the values that God has implanted in man’s heart. “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matt. 24:12) Even as the world tries to prevent us from doing good, may the Lord grant us the power to be wounded out of love for others as we face slander and harassment. We know well that we owe a gospel debt. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Cor. 15:58) 

Early Rain Covenant Church
April 30, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (04/22/19)

April 11: Brother Pan Fei was released on bail pending trial. He was sent back to his home in Shaqu in Dayi County. His phone was confiscated. 

April 15: Pastor Wang Yi’s lawyer brother Zhang Peihong submitted a request to meet with Wang Yi at the Chengdu City Detention Center. The head of the detention center responded by saying that because the case is still under investigation, he could not arrange for Zhang to meet with Wang Yi. On April 16th, the police officer in charge of the case spoke with Zhang and said that the investigation would be completed within seven months of Wang Yi’s arrest in accordance the law and that before it was completed, he would arrange for Zhang to meet with Pastor Wang Yi in accordance with the law. He also said that “relationships are more powerful than laws.”

April 16: Soon after Elder Su Bingsen’s wife Xu Miaozhuang moved with her children to her husband’s parent’s home in Shandong, Elder Su’s father received a phone call from the Chenghua District Police Station asking him to come to Chengdu because Elder Su was going to be released on bail pending trial. On the evening of April 18th, Elder Su flew with police officers to Xiamen (Elder Su’s hukou is in Chengdu, but he was taken to his hometown in Xiamen to be monitored). Even though they did this in order to further break up the church, at least Elder Su can finally be back with his wife and children after being separated from them for four months. 

April 21: On Easter Sunday, a dozen or so brothers and sisters decided to meet together at North Lake Park on the outskirts of the city to worship and remember the Lord who rose from the dead for us. After some of the church members left around noon, national security agents from the Chengdu Municipal Police Station and the Chenghua District Police Station took husband and wife Wang Jun and Tang Shuang and their child Levi, sister Tang’s sister Tang Chao, and sister Liu Xingfeng and her two children Ma Yuman and Ma Keke to the Longtan Temple Police Station, where they were interrogated. They were all released one-by-one late that night. 

“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” (Ps. 119:71) May the Lord keep us from wasting these experiences, and may he grant us spiritual rewards as we trust in him. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” (Heb. 10:24) May the Lord protect and shepherd his church and children. May he grant us fellowship in the Spirit and help us to look out for each other. May he, through his Spirit, rejuvenate those families and church members who have experienced various trials that they may renew their strength in him. 

At the same time, this Passion Week and Easter we see battles that your church is facing all around the world. On Easter Sunday, multiple churches and hotels were intentionally bombed in Sri Lanka. More than 200 died. “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Pet. 5:8) May we, in the midst of tribulation, still believe and proclaim, “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2) Only the love of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross can dispel years of enmity. May God grant peace and comfort to those lands in terror. Lord, remember mercy! (Hab. 3:2) Revive your work in the midst of the years!

Early Rain Covenant Church
April 22, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (04/10/2019)

March 22: Brother Shen Bing (the husband of sister Li Xiaofeng, who is in criminal detention) has been a seeker for many years and is not yet baptized. After being asked by a police officer about his views on Pastor Wang Yi’s preaching, he wrote a response to a sermon. As a result, he was unexpectedly charged with the crime of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and locked up at the Chengdu City Detention Center. 

The last weekend of March: Sister Shu Qiong, a seeker from Panzhihua, tried inviting a few brothers and sisters to visit there to rest and have a meal together. She was consequently summoned by local police, spoken to, and warned. Because she refused to meet their unreasonable demands, her shop was immediately shut down and sealed. 

April 1: This day was the fourteenth anniversary of the founding of Early Rain Church (Pastor Wang Yi and Jiang Rong began holding a gathering at their home on April 1st, 2005). However, our large church family could not meet together. On that day, husband and wife Zhang Jianqing and Yu Zhixue were spoken to by police officers from their hometown in Shanxi who came to Chengdu for the sole purpose of speaking with them. The police threatened them and told them they must return home. God protected them and gave them sufficient grace in their communication and resoluteness with the officers. 

Since many church workers have been charged with “illegal business operations,” police are still continuing to collect evidence (even traveling to Shanxi to confiscate books). We have stated that these materials are internal documents printed by the church and have never been sold for profit. Since no families are being allowed to host Bible studies in their homes, we’ve asked the basic governmental units to respect the white paper published in 2018 by the State Council titled “China's Policies and Practices on Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief.” It states, “All normal religious activities, including attending religious services, praying, reciting scriptures, preaching… which believers conduct… in their own homes in accordance with customary religious practices, are protected by law, and no organization or individual may infringe on these rights.”

Recently, many house churches in China have been banned and sealed. During this traditional church period of Lent, may the Lord prepare us and make us alert. May he help us to pray and to repent. May he cause us to experience even closer union with Christ. May we wait for the great work of God this Passion Week and Easter, and may he allow the Lord’s church to share in the cross of Christ, to share in both his suffering and in his resurrection. “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.” (1 Pet. 4:7-10)

List of Christians Jailed or Missing Throughout the "12/9" Persecution:

List of those in criminal detention (28 people, 16 have been released on bail pending trial, 12 are still in detention):

1. Pastor Wang Yi (inciting to subvert state power, in secret detention)
2. Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (inciting to subvert state power, 12/10/18, in secret detention) 
3. Elder Li Yingqiang (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
4. Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
5. Elder Su Bingsen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, detained on 12/15/18 at Chengdu City Detention Center)
6. Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
7. Sister Li Xiaofeng (illegal business operations)
8. Brother Ding Shuqi (originally lost contact for a long time, we have now confirmed that he is detained)
9. Brother Zhang Guoqing (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, detained on 2/24/18)
10. Brother Pan Fei (lost contact on 3/4/19, we have now been informed that he is in criminal detention, charges still unknown)
11. Brother Gou Zhongcan (lost contact on 3/15/19, on 3/18/19, someone saw him at the Hangzhou East Station handcuffed, with his head shaved, being escorted by multiple plainclothes officers; we do not know where he was being taken)
12. Brother Shen Bing (detained on 03/22/19 at Chengdu Detention Center for writing a response to one of Wang Yi’s sermons)
*13. Brother Song Enguang (illegal business operations, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center; currently released on bail pending trial) 
*14. Preacher Cao Qingen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, detained on 12/14/18 at Chengdu Detention Center; currently released on bail pending trial)
*15. Sister Zhang Xiaohong (taken by the Cao Shi Road Police Station on 01/23/19 at 10:00 p.m. and placed in criminal detention; currently released on bail pending trial)
*16. Preacher Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/15/18 on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and transferred to criminal detention after serving his sentence; 1/27/19 released on bail pending trial)
*17. Brother Zhu Xiaoguang (illegal business operations, detained on 12/13/18 at Chengdu City Detention Center; 01/09/19 released on bail pending trial)
*18. Sister Huang Yutian (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, a Christian from Chongqing, detained for visiting a sister from Early Rain; 01/13/19 released on bail pending trial)
*19. Brother Wang Fei (picking quarrels and provoking trouble; 01/14/19 released on bail pending trial)
*20. Brother Luo Yao (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, illegal business operations, detained on 12/12/18 at Chengdu City Detention Center; 01/12/19 released on bail pending trial)
*21. Sister Lü Jinheng (illegal business operations; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial)
*22. Brother Fu Lijun (illegal business operations; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial)
*23. Sister Huang Yaling (picking quarrels and provoking trouble; 01/12/19 released on bail pending trial)
*24. Brother Liu Yingxu (originally lost contact for a long time; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial, after which we learned that he had been locked up)
*25. Brother Zhu Dong (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, detained on 12/15/18 at Chengdu City Detention Center; 01/14/19 released on bail pending trial)
*26. Brother Liang Huali (illegal business operations; 3/16/19 released on bail pending trial)
*27. Brother Dai Zhichao (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, detained on 12/19/18 at Chengdu City Detention Center; 3/17/19 released on bail pending trial)
*28. Elder Li Zihu (picking quarrels and provoking trouble; 3/17/19 released on bail pending trial)

List of those in administrative detention (26 people, 1 was transferred to criminal detention, 25 have completed their sentences, 1 is still in detention):

1. Brother Liu Xin (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/10/18; sentence completed)
2. Preacher Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention on 12/15/18 for 14 days on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” then transferred to criminal detention)
3. Sister Zheng Chuanjuan (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 3/12/19)
4. Brother Chen Shaowen (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 3/3/19; sentence completed)
5. Brother Shen Bing (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/17/18; sentence completed)
6. Brother Liu Hongliang (placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 12/17/18 for posting a prayer letter about the 12/9 persecution; sentence completed)
7. Brother Wang Jun (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/18/18 for worshipping outdoors; sentence completed)
8. Sister Li Chengju (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/6/19 for attending a Bible study; sentence completed)
9. Brother Zhu Hong (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/6/19 for attending a Bible study; sentence completed)
10. Sister Deng Keli (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/6/19; sentence completed)
11. Brother Qiu Hao (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/13/19; sentence completed)
12. Sister Zhang Haiyan (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/13/19; sentence completed)
13. Brother Zhang Qi (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 2/24/19; sentence completed)
14. Brother Yang Jian (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 2/24/19; sentence completed)
15. Brother A-Xin (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 2/24/19; sentence completed)
16. Brother Zhang Jianqing (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
17. Sister Yu Zhixue (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/13/19; sentence completed)
18. Brother Hou Hongen (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
19. Brother Luo Zhipeng (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
20. Sister Yang Duli (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
21. Brother Zhu Xiaoguang (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
22. Brother Zhang Guanya (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
23. Brother Huang Guangtai (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
24. Brother Tang Chunliang (beaten by police, condition unknown, placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
25. Brother Chen Shaowen (placed in administrative detention on 3/3/19 for 14 days; sentence completed)
26. Sister Zheng Chuanjuan (placed in administrative detention on 3/12/19 for 14 days; sentence completed)

Early Rain Covenant Church
March 26, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Prayer Update #32

Church member Gou Zhongcan, with whom we lost contact while he was visiting a friend in Zhejiang on March 15th, was seen on March 18th at the Hangzhou East Train Station being escorted by multiple plainclothes police officers. His head was shaved and he was handcuffed. We do not know where he was being taken. 

Brother Gou used to be a reporter. When he was 23 years old, he was imprisoned for ten years for writing an article about human rights. While in prison, he was greatly tormented. He called out to God in the midst of his despair. After he was released, he came to our church and became a member. Here he found true freedom in Christ and in the gospel. May God protect him in the midst of this tribulation. May the Lord surround him with steadfast love and give him heavenly peace! 

For the past few days, brothers and sisters have been forcefully evicted from their homes and spoken to by police and national security officers. Some families are still being monitored and followed 24/7. Brother Liang Huali, brother Dai Zhichao, and Elder Li Zihu were sent back to their hometowns after being released on bail pending trial. Brother Gou and brother Pan have been imprisoned again. Eleven leaders, staff, and other members still remain in criminal detention. One sister remains in administrative detention. Many of our brothers and sisters are suffering for the gospel, 'bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!'

We are thankful for all of the churches and brothers and sisters who continue to pray for us and for all of the authorities in power, for God desires all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. May we wait patiently together for the coming of the Lord. 'See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.' May we plant our roots into this soil together and bear fruit! 

Early Rain Covenant Church
Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

List of Christians Imprisoned or Missing Throughout the "12/9" Persecution:

List of those in criminal detention (27 people, 16 have been released on bail pending trial, 11 are still in detention):

1. Pastor Wang Yi (inciting to subvert state power, in secret detention)
2. Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (inciting to subvert state power, 12/10/18, in secret detention) 
3. Elder Li Yingqiang (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
4. Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
5. Elder Su Bingsen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, detained on 12/15/18 at Chengdu City Detention Center)
6. Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
7. Sister Li Xiaofeng (illegal business operations)
8. Brother Ding Shuqi (originally lost contact for a long time, we have now confirmed that he is detained)
9. Brother Zhang Guoqing (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, detained on 2/24/18)
10. Brother Pan Fei (lost contact on 3/4/19, we have now been informed that he is in criminal detention, charges still unknown)
11. Brother Gou Zhongcan (lost contact on 3/15/19, on 3/18/19, someone saw him at the Hangzhou East Station handcuffed, with his head shaved, being escorted by multiple plainclothes officers; we do not know where he was being taken)
*12. Brother Song Enguang (illegal business operations, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center; currently released on bail pending trial) 
*13. Preacher Cao Qingen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, detained on 12/14/18 at Chengdu Detention Center; currently released on bail pending trial)
*14. Sister Zhang Xiaohong (taken by the Cao Shi Road Police Station on 01/23/19 at 10:00 p.m. and placed in criminal detention; currently released on bail pending trial)
*15. Preacher Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/15/18 on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and transferred to criminal detention after serving his sentence; 1/27/19 released on bail pending trial)
*16. Brother Zhu Xiaoguang (illegal business operations, detained on 12/13/18 at Chengdu City Detention Center; 01/09/19 released on bail pending trial)
*17. Sister Huang Yutian (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, a Christian from Chongqing, detained for visiting a sister from Early Rain; 01/13/19 released on bail pending trial)
*18. Brother Wang Fei (picking quarrels and provoking trouble; 01/14/19 released on bail pending trial)
*19. Brother Luo Yao (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, illegal business operations, detained on 12/12/18 at Chengdu City Detention Center; 01/12/19 released on bail pending trial)
*20. Sister Lü Jinheng (illegal business operations; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial)
*21. Brother Fu Lijun (illegal business operations; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial)
*22. Sister Huang Yaling (picking quarrels and provoking trouble; 01/12/19 released on bail pending trial)
*23. Brother Liu Yingxu (originally lost contact for a long time; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial, after which we learned that he had been locked up)
*24. Brother Zhu Dong (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, detained on 12/15/18 at Chengdu City Detention Center; 01/14/19 released on bail pending trial)
*25. Brother Liang Huali (illegal business operations; 3/16/19 released on bail pending trial)
*26. Brother Dai Zhichao (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, detained on 12/19/18 at Chengdu City Detention Center; 3/17/19 released on bail pending trial)
*27. Elder Li Zihu (picking quarrels and provoking trouble; 3/17/19 released on bail pending trial)

List of those in administrative detention (26 people, 1 was transferred to criminal detention, 24 have completed their sentences, 1 is still in detention):

28. Sister Zheng Chuanjuan (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 3/12/19)
29. Brother Chen Shaowen (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 3/3/19; sentence completed)
30. Brother Zhang Qi (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 2/24/19; sentence completed)
31. Brother Yang Jian (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 2/24/19; sentence completed)
32. Brother A-Xin (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 2/24/19; sentence completed)
33. Brother Zhang Jianqing (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
34. Sister Yu Zhixue (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
35. Brother Hou Hongen (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
36. Brother Luo Zhipeng (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
37. Sister Yang Duli (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
38. Brother Zhu Xiaoguang (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
39. Brother Zhang Guanya (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
40. Brother Huang Guangtai (placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
41. Brother Tang Chunliang (beaten by police, condition unknown, placed in administrative detention on 2/24/19 for 14 days while gathering on the Lord’s Day; sentence completed)
42. Brother Wang Jun (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/18/18 for worshipping outdoors; sentence completed)
43. Brother Liu Hongliang (placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 12/17/18 for posting a prayer letter about the 12/9 persecution; sentence completed)
44. Brother Liu Xin (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/10/18; sentence completed)
45. Brother Chen Bin (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/17/18; sentence completed)
46. Sister Li Chengju (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/6/19 for attending a Bible study; sentence completed)
47. Brother Zhu Hong (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/6/19 for attending a Bible study; sentence completed)
48. Sister Deng Keli (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/6/19; sentence completed)
49. Brother Zhang Jianqing (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/13/19; sentence completed)
50. Sister Yu Zhixue (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/13/19; sentence completed)
51. Brother Qiu Hao (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/13/19; sentence completed)
52. Sister Zhang Haiyan (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 1/13/19; sentence completed)
53. Preacher Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention on 12/15/18 for 14 days on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” then transferred to criminal detention)

Early Rain Covenant Church
March 20, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Prayer Update #31

We have yet to learn anything new about brother Pan Fei, who went missing on March 4th. 

Yesterday evening (March 15th), brother Gou Zhongcan also went missing while visiting a friend in Hangzhou. The landlord of the place where he was temporarily living heard from a neighbor that police took him away. The landlord tried going there to check things out but was prevented by a security guard. When the landlord went back there today, nobody was in the apartment. Brother Gou’s clothes were still there, but his cell phone and computer were gone. The desktop computer in the room, which belonged to the landlord, had also been taken.

Every day there are new reports of landlords putting great pressure on brothers and sisters to move out of their homes. 

Moreover, this week we have seen and heard that we are not the only ones suffering. Many children have become ill because of contaminated school food, and their parents have also been treated poorly. Some have even suffered physical harm. 

‘I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”…”Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.”’ (Ps. 91:2, 14-15)

May the Lord, through his word, comfort the children of God who are suffering humiliation and hardship with Christ. May he make them firm in their faith. As they have no physical freedom, may they worship the triune God in spirit and in truth, looking to and relying on the Lord’s grace and salvation. And may God have mercy on Chengdu and on the people who live here. May he save those who, in the midst of their despair, turn to him seeking hope. 

Early Rain Covenant Church
Saturday, March 16, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Prayer Update #30

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)

Our brother Pan Fei has been missing for four days now (92 hours). The last time we heard news from him was at around 9:00 p.m. on Monday, March 4th (the first day of his new job). He stopped going to work beginning on the following Tuesday morning. We have visited his apartment multiple times to look for him but to no effect. We have not been able to contact him. 

Since the ‘5/12’ persecution, brother Pan Fei has been arrested and taken to the police station multiple times. Throughout the ‘12/9’ persecution, his home has been illegally searched, and he has been detained and interrogated. He was forced to move to a new apartment, after which he has still regularly been visited and harassed by community officers. Even local police have frequently entered his home to ‘enforce the law.’ Earlier this year, authorities pressured the Yonghui Supermarket to fire him. Then, on the second day of his new job, he strangely disappeared from the sight of his colleagues, friends, and fellow Christians. 

In the past, when brother Pan Fei would encounter harassment and persecution, he would ask his brothers and sisters to pray for him. But he has not sent any messages since disappearing four days ago. We are concerned that brother Pan Fei is being targeted for his faith. We pray fervently for this lamb who has been captured and separated from the Lord Jesus Christ’s flock. May God’s Spirit be with him and protect his body and soul! 

Early Rain Covenant Church
Friday, March 8, 2019

Attached: List of Christians Imprisoned or Missing Throughout the ‘12/9’ Persecution

Number of those in criminal detention: 12
Number of those in administrative detention: 10
Number of those missing: 1

Those in criminal detention (12):

1. Pastor Wang Yi (inciting to subvert state power, in secret detention)
2. Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (inciting to subvert state power, 12/10/18, in secret detention) 
3. Elder Li Yingqiang (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
4. Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
5. Elder Su Bingsen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
6. Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
7. Sister Li Xiaofeng (illegal business operations)
8. Brother Zhang Guoqing (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 2/24/19)
9. Brother Liang Huali (illegal business operations)
10. Brother Ding Shuqi (originally lost contact for a long time, now we have confirmed that he has been detained)
11. Brother Dai Zhichao (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
12. Elder Li Zihu (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)

Those in administrative detention (10):

1. Brother Zhang Jianqing (detained for 14 days, this is his second time in detention)
2. Sister Yu Zhixue (detained for 14 days, this is her second time in detention)
3. Brother Hou Hongen (detained for 14 days)
4. Brother Luo Zhipeng (detained for 14 days)
5. Sister Yang Duli (detained for 14 days)
6. Brother Zhu Xiaoguang (detained for 14 days, this is his second time)
7. Brother Zhang Guanya (detained for 14 days)
8. Brother Huang Guangtai (detained for 14 days)
9. Brother Zhang Qi (detained for 14 days)
10. Brother Tang Chunliang (beaten by police, condition unknown, detained for 14 days)

Those who are missing (1): 

1. Brother Pan Fei

Early Rain Covenant Church Prayer Update #29

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Cor. 16:13-14)

Early Rain Covenant Church deacon and Christian journalist Zhong Guoqing has been missing for a number of days. Today we learned that authorities have placed him in criminal detention on charges of ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble.’ He is being held at the Chengdu City Detention Center. 

After the ‘12/9’ persecution began, brother Zhang Guoqing was paced under house arrest by authorities at his home and cut off from the outside world. A while ago, Brother Guoqing wrote an article about Pastor Wang Yi’s wife Jiang Rong titled ‘Jiang Rong Is a Woman of Talent and Virtue.’ After publishing this article, brother Guoqing went straight to the police station, bringing with him a bag he had prepared to take into prison. On February 24th, Pastor Wang Yi’s nearly 74-year-old mother was humiliated and violently beaten by officer Zhang Junhu (officer ID: 075557) of the Wang Jiaguai police station. Brother Guoqing, spurred by his conscience and his journalistic instincts, published an article condemning these abominable acts. He then disappeared until we received news about him being charged with ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble.’

Day after day throughout this persecution, brothers and sisters have been persecuted by authorities in ways that no ordinary person could endure. They have been harassed, beaten, humiliated, and locked up without cause. They have been monitored, followed, and threatened 24/7. Authorities have broken down their doors and barged into their homes. They have been visited, photographed, and warned every day. They have been called to the police station at random for questioning. Authorities have pressured landlords and employers, causing these Christians to lose their jobs and their homes. They have been forced to move back to their hometowns. The list goes on. 

According to incomplete statistics gathered through contacting those whom we could contact (this is only the tip of the iceberg), more than three hundred people have been unlawfully taken to the police station. Eight Christian families have lost their homes. The employers of ten Christians have been spoken to and pressured by authorities. Two of these Christians have lost their jobs. Around one hundred Christians have been sent back to their hometowns. Nine Christians have been beaten by police from the Caojiaxiang Police Station, the Taisheng Road Police Station, the Xiyuhe Police Station, and the Jianshe Road Police Station. Nine Christians have been verbally or physically humiliated. For example, brother Wang was slapped in the face by officers from the Caojiaxiang Police Station and severely injured and humiliated multiple times by officers from the Jianshe road Police Station; sister Tang, who is nursing, was beaten for around twelve hours by police from the Caojiaxiang Police Station while holding her child in her arms. Police have forcefully separated two nursing mothers from their children for more than six hours. A total of eight nursing mothers have been locked up. More than thirty children under fourteen years old have been locked up at the police station (on average, they were locked up for more than eight hours, the longest time being seventy-two hours; the youngest child was not yet one year old). 

Of the twenty-five Christians who have been placed in criminal detention, twelve still remain locked up. Of the twenty-three Christians placed in administrative detention, eleven remain locked up. One person has disappeared. 

The twelve Christians in criminal detention:

1. Pastor Wang Yi (inciting to subvert state power, 12/9/18, in secret detention)
2. Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (inciting to subvert state power, 12/10/18, in secret detention) 
3. Elder Li Yingqiang (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/11/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
4. Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
5. Elder Su Bingsen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/15/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
6. Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations, 12/9/18)
7. Sister Li Xiaofeng (illegal business operations, 12/9/18)
8. Brother Liang Huali (illegal business operations, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
9. Brother Ding Shuqi (originally lost contact for a long time, now we have confirmed that he has been detained)
10. Brother Dai Zhichao (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/19/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
11. Elder Li Zihu (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/12/18)
12. Brother Zhang Guoqing (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 2/24/19)

The eleven Christians in administrative detention:

1. Brother A-Xin (2/24/19, detained for 10 days)
2. Brother Zhang Jianqing (2/24/19, detained for 14 days)
3. Sister Yu Zhixue (2/24/19, detained for 14 days)
4. Brother Hou Hongen (2/24/19, detained for 14 days)
5. Brother Luo Zhipeng (2/24/19, detained for 14 days)
6. Sister Yang Duli (2/24/19, detained for 14 days)
7. Brother Zhu Xiaoguang (2/24/19, detained for 14 days)
8. Brother Zhang Guanya (2/24/19, detained for 14 days)
9. Brother Huang Guangtai (2/24/19, detained for 14 days)
10. Brother Zhang Qi (2/24/19, detained for 14 days)
11. Brother Tang Chunliang (2/24/19, beaten by police, condition unknown, detained for 14 days)

The one who has gone missing: 

Brother Yang Jian (2/24/19, possibly placed in administrative detention for 10 days, but we have received no notice; his family has visited the detention center and could not find him)

Please pray for those brothers and sisters who are locked up and for those who are being continually monitored and mercilessly harassed. Ask that they would rely on the Lord for strength, endurance, and faithfulness and that they would not lose hope in the gospel! May we look to the one who gave his life for us, who redeemed us, who rose from the dead, who ascended into heaven, and who will come again in glory—the Lord Jesus Christ! 

Ask the Lord to help us to love our enemies as the Lord Jesus loved us and to pray for those who are persecuting us! 

Please pray for those police officers, community officers, employers, and landlords who are doing their duties, that they would act according to their consciences and the law. Those who do their duties while violating the law and their consciences will fall into the pits they have dug and will get caught in the snares they have laid. 

Early Rain Covenant Church
Saturday, March 2, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Prayer Update #28

"On February 24th, church members who have experienced many setbacks throughout the ‘12/9’ persecution still came together full of joy to worship God during his Sabbath. Police, however, surrounded multiple homes holding gatherings and either knocked on their doors or entered. At two home gatherings, everyone there was detained after the meeting ended. They then waited for the police bus to arrive. Everyone, including Christian children, elderly people, and pregnant women, was taken away by police, and their phones were seized.

Brother A-Xin, a translator, after hearing about children, elderly people, and pregnant women being arrested at home gatherings and about Wang Yi’s 74-year-old mother being insulted and beaten, took up his pen and began writing furiously. In the evening, he was arrested at his home by nearly ten police officers. 

By 8:00 p.m. last night, 44 members had been arrested during the ‘2/24’ Sabbath raids. Of those arrested, 11 were children. The youngest to be detained and taken to the police station was a little more than two months old. Tang Chunliang and his wife were hit in the face by a plainclothes police officer at the police station. Some, including children, did not eat anything. Some were not released until 2:00 a.m. Tired children slept on ice-cold tables and floors. Others were not released until 6:00 a.m.

At the moment, we have confirmed that at least 11 people have been placed in administrative detention. They include the following: 

Brother A-Xin (detained for 10 days)
Brother Zhang Jianqing (detained for 14 days)
Sister Yu Zhixue (detained for 14 days)
Brother Zhu Xiaoguang (detained for 14 days)
Brother Hou Hongen (detained for 14 days)
Brother Luo Zhipeng (detained for 14 days)
Sister Yang Duli (detained for 14 days)
Brother Zhang Guanya (detained for 14 days)
Brother Huang Guangtai (detained for 14 days)
Brother Tang Chunliang (detained for 14 days)
Brother Yang Jian (detained for 10 days)

Today, brothers and sisters are still being taken from their homes. New situations are developing at the time of the writing of this letter. Multiple families are being threatened and their homes searched. 

Early Rain Covenant Church
February 25, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Update #27

The nearly 70-year-old mother of Pastor Wang Yi was beaten and injured by an officer from the Wangjiaguai Police Station while she was running errands this morning.

While the elderly woman was withdrawing money at the bank, this officer came up and tried peaking at her PIN. When she refused to show him, he got in a rage. He viciously insulted her and pulled the elderly woman’s hair. The bank security guard stopped him as he beat the elderly woman. He loudly berated the security guard and said, ‘I’m enforcing the law!’ Then he continued the violence and kicked the elderly woman with his foot. Another police officer kept the elderly woman from hitting back.

May God be with Pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong as they are locked up. May God comfort them during their time in prison. May the Lord keep their mother and child from grief and pain as they experience daily insults and cruel treatment. May God send down his Spirit to heal and comfort the soul of this elderly woman.

The director of the Wangjiaguai Police Station promised to take care of the situation and demanded that the grandmother not publicly share the name and ID number of this police officer. We will wait for now. If this is not dealt with according to the law, we believe God will certainly judge them. 

Especially pray for the director of the Wangjiaguai Police Station and for this police officer. They also have mothers, wives, and children. Ask the Lord to awaken their consciences! 

The Lord Jesus Christ came to die on the cross for sinners. God loves the world! No man’s sin is so great that he cannot be saved through the redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ! 

Early Rain Covenant Church
February 24, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Request #26

At 8:40 p.m. on Feb. 22, the wife of elder Su Bingsen, one of the Christians imprisoned under the ‘12/9’ persecution, along with their four children, experienced increased pressure by authorities as their landlord forced Mrs. Su to move out of her home, breaking the promise she had previously made when they signed their contract. 

This is already the second time this suffering family has experienced the pain of being forced to move. Mrs. Su’s children embraced her and wept continually. Each time they are evicted, they find a new place to live. Then, after they’ve spent a few days adapting to their new home, police and national security come to their door and, through various methods, drive the family out of their home again. 

Police and national security told Mrs. Su that elder Su Bingsen’s doctoral degree is not related to his registered residence in Chengdu, and none of their children has a hukou. Therefore, as illegal residents, they are being denied residency. 

They had just signed a contract with their landlord for the place where they are currently living. The day before yesterday, their landlord received a notice from the police station and told Mrs. Su that she would not comply with the requests of the police and national security. Mrs. Su then told her children about the landlord’s keeping her word. But this evening, the landlord tore up their agreement. The children cannot understand or accept what is happening. They have just arrived at their new home, and now they must move out again. As these children are growing up, they do not feel the sense of belonging that children this age ought to feel in their homes. Heartbroken, they hugged their mother and wept. 

Pray that God would have mercy on these children and on Mrs. Su as they deal with these circumstances. Ask the Holy Spirit to be with them and to be a lamp unto their feet, lighting the path that lies before them. Ask the Lord Christ to manifest his power, lighting a fire on this cold winter night that would warm their bodies and melt the frozen hearts of those trapped in darkness. 

Early Rain Covenant Church
February 22, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (02/04/19-02/21/19)

“‘Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.” (Luke 6:22-23)

Feb. 4, Chinese Spring Festival: ‘Chinese New Year 2019: A Call for Public Prayer for Christians of Early Rain Covenant Church Suffering Under the “12/9” Persecution.’ On this day, brothers and sisters prayed throughout the day for members in prison and for those already released. We also received responses from churches all over China, as well as answers to prayer. 

Feb. 12: Brother Cui Lianfang suddenly became ill and was taken to the hospital through the help of other brothers and sisters. His condition soon deteriorated badly. His heart, blood pressure, and breathing were all abnormal. The hospital issued a notice stating that he was in critical condition. Brothers and sisters piled their money together to pay for brother Cui’s medical treatment and took turns tending to him in the hospital. Members of the Body living in other places put down what they were doing and prayed fervently for brother Cui. Thank God for his mercy! The Lord Jesus Christ answered our prayers. Brother Cui went from being in critical condition to being stable. He has now returned to his hometown in Tianjin to rest. 

Feb. 15: Local police in Chengdu took away, one by one, the spouses of those imprisoned throughout the ‘12/9’ persecution. The police were very critical of the humanitarian concerns raised by foreign diplomats living in China who had met with the spouses the day before. They ignored the calls of these spouses to release their loved ones who are locked up in jail and prohibited them from going around calling for their release. One national security officer named Zhou Jiao hurled insults at them and, speaking about these wives, yelled, “Too bad we can’t go back in time 40 years and put pointed hats on them and behead them.” He also said that sooner or later they would kill them. May the Lord fill these family members with the Holy Spirit and give them strong, loving, and faithful hearts so that they would not rely on their flesh as they face the challenges that lie ahead. 

Feb. 17: Lord’s Day worship. The sermon text was John 15:1-17 and the sermon the title was “Faith and Salvation.” 

Feb. 19: Sister C went to visit the four children that she fostered for more than a year. She discovered that their relatives in their birthplace of Xuanhan did not keep their promise to allow the four children to grow up together. They have sent the four children to different families. They were forced last Christmas to leave their foster parents, and now they have been forced to leave each other. This is truly heartbreaking. There are also many other lonely and helpless children who have similarly been fostered by Christian parents, who have experienced the love of a father and mother and the warmth of a church, but who were later taken away because the government falsely claimed they had fallen into an ‘evil cult.’ Please pray for these children and for other Christian foster families who are experiencing the same kind of persecution and separation. 

Feb. 20: Police from the hometown of Ms. C, a teacher at Early Rain Covenant Church’s K-12 school, came to Chengdu for a week and threatened to use all necessary means to force her to move back to her hometown. They also demanded that she delete all of the articles that she has published online, that she delete her account, and that she not say anything more about Early Rain Covenant Church. Sister C’s relatives have not been able to withstand the threats of the secretary and officials of her hometown’s local government. Her father has announced that he has severed his relationship with his daughter, and other relatives are refusing to answer her phone calls or to have any dealings with her. 

Feb. 21: The husband of auntie Hou Jinan, a member of our church who is nearly 80 years old, had a heart attack. He had surgery and may die at any time. Auntie Hou has had two surgeries for cancer. The cancer has now spread to her lungs. While she was in the hospital, the police did not stop harassing her. When she was not at home, police took photos of her husband and ordered that auntie Hou leave her sickbed and go find them. 

Today, elderly brother Zhang Xian returned to his heavenly home. Since the time he got sick and was admitted to the hospital on Jan. 4, brothers and sisters continually visited him and cared for him. On Spring Festival, brothers and sisters brought over some dumplings they had made just for him. 

In this difficult time, mutual love between brothers and sisters manifests the great love of the Lord. Regardless of what reason authorities give for harassing and threatening us, they cannot prevent the communion of the saints. For we are a family who has been redeemed by the blood of the Lord Jesus. We are connected by a bond far greater than any earthly blood ties. 

Nearly every day, brothers and sisters are being visited by police and called in for questioning. Police are occupying the homes of some brothers and putting them under double-surveillance house arrest, with guards stationed both inside and outside of their homes. 

Even though we are struggling with the unbearable weight of harassments, surveillance, threats, and humiliation, as soon as we remember that this is a way of being imprisoned with those in prison, heavenly joy rises up within us. 

‘Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”’ (Rev. 7:13-17)

Early Rain Covenant Church
February 21, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (01/23/19-01/30/19)

‘For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.’ (2 Tim. 1:7-8)

Our Lord, through these trials, has allowed both those in and outside of prison to testify together for the Lord. 

Jan. 23: In the middle of the night, officers from the Caoshi Police Station took away sister Zhang Xiaohong and put her in criminal detention on charges of ‘illegal business operations.’ As the time approaches for families to reunite for Spring Festival, authorities are still enforcing rigid policies, putting great pressure on the church and on Christians. Those Christians who have been arrested and locked up have shown no signs of capitulating. 

Jan. 24: A dozen or so Chengdu police officers and national security officers traveled a great distance to a sister’s home in another city and illegally searched the home. Police took this sister’s new iPhone 8 Plus, which costs 6000 yuan, and they still have not returned it. According to this sister, the phone was a New Year’s gift from her daughter. She has not done anything illegal, but police said the phone was a tool involved in this case. Without following any proper protocol, they took it from her home. 

Jan. 25: At night, family members of those in prison, including Li Bing, the wife of Deacon Ge Yingfeng, Zhang Xinyue, the wife of Elder Li Yingqiang, and Xiao Hongliu, the wife of Elder Qin Defu, discovered that the bank cards they have been using for daily necessities were all frozen by the bank. On the 26th, they inquired of various people and were sent all over the place. The bank did not issue documents regarding the freezing and did not explain to their clients the reasons for it. Instead, they asked the clients themselves to go ask the department that froze the cards. They finally learned that the cards were frozen by the Qingyang District branch of the Chengdu Public Security Bureau. 

Jan. 27: Preacher Cheng Zhangchun was released on bail pending trial. Last Thursday, the government sent someone from his hometown in Anhui Province to Chengdu to take him back to his hometown to monitor him. Preacher Cheng Zhangchun was released on bail pending trial for one year and forbidden from traveling. His personal communication devices were confiscated. After he was released from prison, it appears that his wife’s phone was also taken. Brothers and sisters have lost contact with his entire family.

Jan. 28: Four brothers and sisters who were arrested at a Lord’s Day gathering on Jan. 13 and placed in administrative detention for 15 days fulfilled their sentences and returned home. These include brother Qiu Hao, husband and wife Jianqing and Zhixue, and sister Haiyan. Praise the Lord! At this time, everyone who was placed in administrative detention has completed their sentences. 

Jan. 29: Another young couple, after getting to know each other in the midst of these hardships of the “12/9” persecution and after praying, has decided to begin dating. May the Lord bless them and lead them down the path ahead of them. 

Jan. 30: Spring Festival is almost here, but there are still 14 brothers and sisters in prison. Their family members thought that since they cannot celebrate Spring Festival with their other halves, they would try to send them some gifts in prison. They figured that the thing that would make their loved ones inside most happy would be a Bible. But after much effort, they were still unable to get Bibles to them. 

Older brother Zhang Xian, who got sick and was admitted to the hospital on Jan. 4, is still dealing with a serious illness. Every evening brothers and sisters must be with him. May the Lord have mercy on him. In the midst of these tribulations, brothers and sisters have been showing more care and support for each other and have been praying more for each other. They have also been receiving attention, greetings, encouragement, financial support, and prayer support from brothers and sisters from all over. We are so thankful for the big family God has given us. May all glory go to our Heavenly Father! 

Early Rain Covenant Church
January 31, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Update #25

On the evening of the 25th, family members of those in prison, including Li Bing, the wife of Deacon Ge Yingfeng, Zhang Xinyue, the wife of Elder Li Yingqiang, and Xiao Hongliu, the wife of Elder Qin Defu, discovered that the bank cards they have been using for daily necessities were all frozen by the bank. After inquiring of various people and being sent all over the place, they finally learned that the cards were frozen by the Qingyang District branch of the Chengdu Public Security Bureau. The bank did not issue documents regarding the freezing and did not explain to their clients the reasons for it. Instead, they asked the clients themselves to go ask the department that froze the cards. 

Spring Festival is almost here. Did they not freeze the bank accounts of family members at this time in order to intentionally keep these people from celebrating Spring Festival in peace? Members of the Body, please pray about the ramifications of this and for each of the family members as they talk with relevant departments to try to take care of this. Please hold up these family members going through difficulties in your prayers as they look to the Lord who provides for us! And ask God to protect law enforcement officers from being controlled by the evil powers of the air and to preserve the remnants of their consciences!

Early Rain Covenant Church
January 27, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Update #24

The coming of the [lunar] new year has not kept the persecution from slowing down. As people welcome the approaching new year, our brothers and sisters are still continually being thrown in prison. 

At 10:00 p.m. yesterday (1/23), police from the Chengdu Cao Shi Road Police Station took away sister Zhang Xiaohong and immediately placed her in criminal detention at the Chengdu City Detention Center. Brothers and sisters, please pray for sister Zhang Xiaohong, asking God to comfort her and her family and asking the Holy Spirit to be with them. 

Early Rain Covenant Church 
January 24, 2019

List of Early Rain Covenant Church Christians with whom we have lost contact or who have been put in jail throughout the “12/9” persecution:

List of those in criminal detention (24 people, 9 have already been released on bail pending trial, 15 are still in detention):

1. Pastor Wang Yi (inciting to subvert state power, in secret detention)
2. Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (inciting to subvert state power, 12/10/18, in secret detention) 
3. Elder Li Yingqiang (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
4. Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
5. Elder Su Bingsen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/17/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
6. Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
7. Sister Li Xiaofeng (illegal business operations)
8. Brother Liang Huali (illegal business operations, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
9. Brother Song Enguang (illegal business operations, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center) 
10. Brother Ding Shuqi (originally lost contact for a long time, now we have confirmed that he is being detained)
11. Brother Dai Zhichao (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/19/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
12. Elder Li Zihu (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
13. Preacher Cao Qingen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/14/18, detained at Chengdu Detention Center)
14. Preacher Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/15/18 on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and transferred to criminal detention after serving his sentence, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
15. Sister Zhang Xiaohong (taken by the Cao Shi Road Police Station on 01/23/19 and placed in criminal detention, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
*16. Brother Zhu Xiaoguang (illegal business operations, 12/13/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center; 01/09/19 released on bail pending trial)
*17. Sister Huang Yutian (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, a Christian from Chongqing, detained for visiting a sister from Early Rain; 01/13/19 released on bail pending trial)
*18. Brother Wang Fei (picking quarrels and provoking trouble; 01/14/19 released on bail pending trial)
*19. Brother Luo Yao ( charge unknown, 12/12/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center; 01/12/19 released on bail pending trial)
*20. Sister Lü Jinheng (illegal business operations; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial)
*21. Brother Fu Lijun (illegal business operations; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial)
*22. Sister Huang Yaling (picking quarrels and provoking trouble; 01/12/19 released on bail pending trial)
*23. Brother Liu Yingxu (originally lost contact for a long time; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial, after which we learned that he was locked up)
*24. Brother Zhu Dong (charge unknown, 12/15/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center; 01/14/19 released on bail pending trial)

List of those in administrative detention (12 people, 1 has been transferred to criminal detention, 7 have completed their sentences, 4 are still in detention):

25. Brother Wang Jun (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/18/18 for worshipping outdoors; sentence completed)
26. Brother Liu Hongliang (placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 12/17/18; sentence completed)
27. Brother Liu Xin (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/10/18; sentence completed)
28. Brother Chen Bin (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/17/18; sentence completed)
29. Sister Li Chengju (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 01/06/19; sentence completed)
30. Brother Zhu Hong (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 01/06/19; sentence completed)
31. Sister Deng Keli (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 01/06/19; sentence completed)
32. Brother Zhang Jianqing (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 01/13/19)
33. Sister Yu Zhixue (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 01/13/19)
34. Brother Qiu Hao (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 01/13/19)
35. Sister Zhang Haiyan (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 01/13/19)
*Preacher Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention on 12/15/18 for 14 days then transferred to criminal detention) 

Early Rain Covenant Church
01/24/2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (01/15/19-01/22/19)

Jan. 15: Brother Zhu, who was placed in criminal detention on charges of ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble’ for reposting an Early Rain Covenant Church prayer letter, was released on bail pending trial after being locked up for 30 days. May the Lord bless his mother, who has severe dementia, and those family members of his who don’t yet believe in the Lord, that they might be able to experience with him peace and joy in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jan. 17: Brother Li, who believed in the Lord and was baptized last week on his sickbed in the ICU, left this world and returned to his heavenly home at 7:20 a.m. on the 17th due to his illness. He was 83 years old. Please continue to pray for brother Li’s family members. May the Lord comfort them in their grief and give them hope for the day they meet again. 

Today police suddenly burst into the home of one sister. Without following any proper legal procedures, they searched her home, rummaging through boxes and shelves. They did not find anything and left. Police tore up a copy of Article 39 of the Constitution that another sister had taped to her door. When asked about it he denied it. There is great injustice here. Please pray for law enforcement officers and ask the Lord to enlighten them that they might see their sin and helplessness and turn to seek the Lord who saves men from sin and brings them into the light! 

Today we learned that a sister had a heart attack from the stress brought about by being followed and threatened for such a long time. The official who was harassing her said, “You can call the police at 110 if you’re able!” Another sister had an anxiety attack. Thank God brothers and sisters from her small group immediately went to take care of her. Please pray for brothers and sisters in these kinds of situations and ask the Lord to especially watch and protect them, to make them strong in the Lord, and to open a way for them! 

Jan. 18: It is reported that churches and brothers and sisters from all over the country who previously purchased Early Rain Covenant Church books and sermon flash drives through WeChat have been being harassed. Police are entering their homes and searching for books, taking them to the police station for interrogations, and so on. Some have also been spoken to with threatening language for very long periods of time, and authorities have gone to their workplaces to pressure them. Brothers and sisters to whom this may concern, please be vigilant and make necessary preparations. 

Jan. 19: This was the day of brother Li’s memorial service. Many brothers and sisters were prevented by guards from leaving their homes early in the morning. Even though there were all kinds of disturbances, the memorial service proceeded according to schedule. Brother Li’s body was covered with a sheet with a cross on it. Before it was taken to the cremation furnace, the hymn ‘God Be With You Till We Meet Again,’ which we had just sung at the memorial service, unexpectedly began playing right there. Having not previously planned this, we were all both surprised and delighted. This really was the good purpose of God! Praise the Lord! The promises of God are trustworthy! Thank you to the whole Body for praying! 

Jan. 20: The Lord’s Day. The topic of the sermon was “The Storm of Eden,” and the Scripture was chapter three of Genesis. Please keep praying for those brothers and sisters who are being kept from participating in Sunday worship and cannot fellowship with other members. Ask the Holy Spirit to be present with them and to bless them with comfort and mercy! And ask the Lord to help them break free of these barricades so that they can once again experience the joy of worshipping together with their family in the Lord!

Jan. 21: The three brothers and sisters who were previously detained for holding the Gospel Class completed their sentences. They were released and returned home. The other brothers and sisters, seeing them finally reunite with their family members, rejoiced. We are also thankful that the employer of one of the sisters kept back her job for her. We are also especially thankful for those family members who do not yet believe in the Lord but who have been accepting and understanding. May the Lord especially open their hearts, and may they be drawn to that peace and eternal glory that cannot be taken away. May they seek and follow the Lord! 

Summary and Prayer:

This week, many brothers and sisters were taken away multiple times for interrogation. The questions of those handling the case have centered on Pastor Wang Yi’s financial circumstances. For example, in addition to the electric scooter that he has been riding to and from work these past dozen or so years, does he also have a Mercedes Benz or a BMW? Some police have even said very directly through the course of their coercing and bribing, ‘We want to convict Wang Yi with a crime. As for the rest of you, it depends whether or not you cooperate. If you cooperate, you can return home for New Year’s and won’t have any problems.’ In their eyes, laws are clearly just decorations they can play around with. 

Brothers and sisters are being visited by leaders from their registered permanent residences, including county heads of the United Front Work Department, bureau chiefs of the Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs, and village mayors. They are coming to Chengdu at public expense to speak with them and to require them to leave Chengdu, to return home, and to cut ties with Early Rain. Some brothers and sisters are being closely guarded in their hometowns and are not being allowed to return to Chengdu. Those brothers and sisters who are out on bail are also being strictly watched. What is even more ridiculous, family members of those in criminal detention are being surrounded by five or six people whenever they leave their homes. They are even afraid of women and children! 

So far, those who have been in jail since the beginning have all exceeded the 40-day limit. Some say they have already been indicted, but their family members have not yet received any indictment documents. Some family members have seen documents and signed them but were not given copies. According to Chinese criminal law, all who have been placed in criminal detention throughout this case are allowed to meet with their lawyers. But throughout this case, none of the lawyers have been able to meet with their clients. They have not even been allowed to meet with those who have already been indicted. What’s worse, while the detention center falsely claims that someone is being arraigned, the Justice Bureau simultaneously calls and notifies the lawyer that the director is not able to meet with him and that there is no use waiting. The shameful trampling of the law by Chengdu authorities has been incredible. May God comfort his servants and the hearts of his children on earth, and may he heal this land, granting liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and setting the oppressed free. 

Some brothers and sisters are seriously considering formally applying to withdraw from the Communist Party after seeing what is really happening and the differences of values. Please pray for them, asking the Lord to strengthen them and to open a way for them. 

Brothers and sisters who were once in administrative detention have come out and shared about their experiences. First of all, they realized that they were not as prepared as they thought they were. And they did not have the love and desire to share the gospel with drug users and thieves to the degree they once thought. They shared that they wanted to memorize more hymns and Bible verses so they could strengthen themselves and bless others. They also summed up some specific experiences. For example, people who were locked up were really weak and unaccustomed to that environment for the first few days. If brothers and sisters had visited them it would have greatly helped them. Their family members outside could usually get by fairly well for the first few days, but later they became more and more exhausted and lonely and needed brothers and sisters to visit them and help them. Hopefully churches that are preparing for similar situations can draw on these experiences and better care for each other. 

Finally, let us think about what Paul said in prison: ‘I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.’ (Phil. 1:12-14) We believe that this is also the desire of those brothers and sisters who are locked up. May we all advance the gospel! May we respond with the gospel to those who are persecuting us, guarding us, and limiting our freedom. May we love those unlovable people with the love of Jesus. And may we cover with the righteous garments of Christ the weaknesses, failings, and humiliation of ourselves and others, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God!

Early Rain Covenant Church
January 22, 2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (01/09/19-01/15/19)

’May every street know the name of the Lord Jesus!’ 

We don’t know how many streets have heard the name of the Lord Jesus until now, but we know this number is increasing. This increase is not on account of our initiative, nor did we orchestrate it. And God is still continuing to send his ‘special ambassadors’ to prison. This week, eight brothers and sisters were released on bail pending trial, and four more were placed in administrative detention. We use the passive tense here because regardless of whether we are being arrested or being released, we are not doing this of our own initiative. 

Jan. 8: The lawyer whom Pastor Wang Yi appointed for himself was taken away by Chengdu police after meeting with Pastor Wang Yi’s mother and son. He was released after six hours. As of now, none of the lawyers working the “12/9” case have seen their clients. 

Jan. 9: Brother Zhu Xiaoguang, who was locked up for 27 days in criminal detention, was released on bail pending trial and returned home. He is the first brother we know of to triumphantly return home. He was charged with “illegal business operations,” and his crime was helping the church mail some books. He is the father of little Abel mentioned in the last church bulletin. All of his children were still counting flower pedals today looking forward to their father’s return. God has given them an unexpected surprise!

Jan. 10: Brother Fu Lijun and sister Lü Jinheng, who were both in criminal detention, were released on bail pending trial. Brother Liu Yingxu, with whom we had lost contact for a long time, was also released on bail pending trial. Only then did we learn that he had been locked up the whole time. We could not learn any information about him no matter who we asked. 

Brother Fu Lijun was the first Christian arrested during the first wave of the “12/9” arrests at Early Rain Covenant Church. His crime was selling the book with the highest volume of sales in the world, the Bible. The sales volume of this book in China is no exception. 

Jan. 11: Through help of Facebook staff, our stolen account was returned to us. We officially began using it again on the 11th. These past few days, people have still continually been trying to break into it, resetting the password, and so on. But they have not succeeded. It is likely that these attacks will continue. 

We were notified by chance that one sister has been continually and closely guarded at her home by 20 to 30 people since December 9th. She is not even being allowed to leave her home. When she tried getting on a public bus she was dragged off. Because communication channels are being blocked, we did not know that there are some brothers and sisters facing situations like this. Please pray fervently for them! 

Jan. 12: Sister Huang Yaling and brother Luo Yao were released on bail pending trial. 

Brother Li believed and was baptized in the intensive care ward at the hospital. Praise the Lord! He caused brother Li, who had been in a coma, to wake up that afternoon. His mind was clear and he could clearly communicate. His baptism went smoothly. 

Jan. 13: For this second Lord’s Day of 2019, the Scripture was Matthew 12:28-34 and the topic was ‘Loving God and Loving Neighbor.’ 

One small group was raided while worshipping at a home. A total of eleven adults and three children were taken away during the ordeal. The youngest child was two years old, and the oldest was seven. While police were waiting for more people to come to take them away, brothers and sisters there still continued fellowshipping. Throughout the afternoon until late at night, news trickled in of the brothers and sisters being released one by one. On the second day, it was confirmed that five brothers and sisters had been placed in administrative detention. The sentence of one of them was temporarily suspended, and he was allowed to return home because his wife is still in detention and they have a young child. 

Jan. 14: We learned that sister Huang Yutian was released on bail pending trial and returned to her home in Chongqing on the 13th. Brother Wang Fei was also released on bail pending trial. 

A young couple announced that they are beginning a relationship together. They shared with everyone about how God led them these past six months from not knowing each other to falling in love with each other, and especially about how God worked all things together for good in the midst of danger and persecution. Through this, God made each of them know for sure that He was the one leading them to enter into a relationship. Even though they are currently forced to be apart and cannot see each other, may God bless them and allow them to break through the distance barrier so that they can know and love each other more, seeking a future running the Heavenly race together. 

Jan. 15: Brothers and sisters are still often suddenly being visited by police and taken to the police station for a few hours of interrogation (in some cases even more than 20 hours). Police are searching their phones and trying to crack their passwords. This happened to two more brothers and sisters today. Video cameras have been installed outside the doors of brothers and sisters whose homes are being monitored. They are still being closely followed or secretly stalked. Photos are still secretly being taken of them, and so on. May the Lord give us brothers and sisters an alert mind to help us look out for each other! 

National News: 

Jan. 10: Fountain of Life Church, which belongs to Western China Presbytery, was raided. The Civil Affairs Bureau, the Religious Affairs Bureau, the Department of Culture, and the police came together, led by the deputy director of the police station. They cited social management regulations (Civil Affairs Bureau), the new religious regulations (Religious Affairs Bureau), and cultural management regulations (Department of Culture). They gave a verbal warning that the church could not organize illegal religious activities. The elders were briefly interrogated and refused to answer many questions. Authorities took a few books. 

Jan. 15: At 9:00 a.m., around 50 people with the City Management and Law Enforcement Bureau in Xiamen, Fujian Province, illegally and forcefully removed the aluminum-framed glass partitions, the stainless steel security door, and the electronic lock on the 5th floor of the No. 6 commercial building in Yuanbo Liuli on Xinglin Street in Jimei District without presenting any legal documents. They did so under the pretense of it being a security risk, but their real reason was because the owner of the 5th floor is homeschooling many children and toddlers and throughout the year puts on many cooperative community group activities on the 5th floor, gives education training for teaching mixed classes of regular and special-needs children, hosts activities for families to help each other, holds training for parents, and so on. The security door prevented them from easily entering. 

At 11:00 a.m., around 150 Christians in Nanyang prefecture in Henan Province were surrounded by armed police while attending a dinner at the Nanyang Bright Moon Hotel. A few believers who fainted were taken by ambulance to the emergency room. Phone signals inside the hotel were blocked. Details of the situation are not clear. 

Summary and Prayer:

After seeing that brothers and sisters of one of our small groups were taken away, a pastor in Wenzhou responded in a message saying, “Thank God! The persecution you are encountering has greatly encouraged me. In the midst of trials and tribulations, you have steadfast hope. This has caused me to repent by fleeing comfort. The next time my church encounters persecution, you suffering saints will remind me that the cross is my glory. Christ’s perfect Kingdom of Heaven has sounded forth out of this environment in which you are trapped and has caused a chain reaction. God has heard our cries.” 

Our lives are a play. People will watch it, whether we want them to or not. Sometimes it seems like we are living in peaceful times, but in reality, danger lurks around the corner. Sometimes it seems like the waves are crashing in, but in reality, we are safe and sound. If God uses us to let people see spiritual reality through the play of our lives, then we have lived worthy lives. 

As we watch this persecution continue, churches and brothers and sisters from all over the country are being pulled into this storm. This is an opportunity to spread the gospel to the authorities and to all of society, to tell them that God’s only Son Jesus, the savior and king of mankind, was killed in order to save us sinners, was buried, and was raised from the dead by the power of God, that he overcame the power of sin and death. Out of his his love and mercy, God has prepared forgiveness and salvation for all who are willing to believe in Jesus, including Chinese people. At in any time, any person can repent of any sin and turn to Christ and fear God, obtaining for himself eternal life and bringing upon his family and country the generous blessings of God. 

Early Rain Covenant Church
January 16, 2019

Attached:
List of Early Rain Covenant Church Christians with whom we have lost contact or who have been put in jail throughout the “12/9” persecution:

List of those in criminal detention (22 people, 8 have already been released on bail pending trial, 14 are still in detention):

1. Pastor Wang Yi (inciting to subvert state power, in secret detention)
2. Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (inciting to subvert state power, 12/10/18, in secret detention) 
3. Elder Li Yingqiang (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
4. Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
5. Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
6. Sister Li Xiaofeng (illegal business operations)
*7. Sister Lü Jinheng (illegal business operations; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial)
*8. Brother Fu Lijun (illegal business operations; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial)
*9. Sister Huang Yaling (picking quarrels and provoking trouble; 01/12/19 released on bail pending trial)
10. Elder Li Zihu (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
11. Brother Wang Fei (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
12. Elder Su Bingsen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/17/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
*13. Brother Zhu Xiaoguang (illegal business operations, 12/13/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center; 01/09/19 released on bail pending trial)
*14. Sister Huang Yutian (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, a Christian from Chongqing, detained for visiting a sister from Early Rain; 01/13/19 released on bail pending trial and sent back to Chongqing)
15. Brother Dai Zhichao (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/19/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
16. Brother Zhu Dong (charge unknown, 12/15/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
*17. Preacher Cao Qingen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/14/18, detained at Chengdu Detention Center)
18. Brother Liang Huali (illegal business operations, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
19. Brother Song Enguang (illegal business operations, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center) 
*20. Brother Luo Yao ( charge unknown, 12/12/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center; 01/12/19 released on bail pending trial)
21. Preacher Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/15/18 on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and transferred to criminal detention after serving his sentence, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
22. Brother Liu Yingxu (originally lost contact for a long time; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial, after which we learned that he was locked up)

List of those with whom we have lost contact for an extended period of time (1 person):

23. Brother Ding Shuqi

List of those in administrative detention (12 people, 1 has been transferred to criminal detention, 4 have completed their sentences, 7 are still in detention):

24. Preacher Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention on 12/15/18 for 14 days then transferred to criminal detention) 
25. Brother Wang Jun (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/18/18 for worshipping outdoors; sentence completed)
26. Brother Liu Hongliang (placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 12/17/18; sentence completed)
27. Brother Liu Xin (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/10/18; sentence completed)
28. Brother Chen Bin (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/17/18; sentence completed)
29. Sister Li Chengju (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 01/07/19)
30. Brother Zhu Hong (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 01/07/19)
31. Sister Deng Keli (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 01/07/19)
32. Brother Zhang Jianqing (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 01/12/19)
33. Sister Yu Zhixue (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 01/12/19)
34. Brother Qiu Hao (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 01/12/19)
35. Sister Zhang Haiyan (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 01/12/19)

Early Rain Covenant Church 
01/15/2019

Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (01/02/19-01/08/19)

Praise the Lord! Brothers and sisters at Early Rain Covenant Church welcomed the new year with a New Year’s prayer meeting. Brothers and sisters sacrificed their love and their knees for the church and for those brothers and sisters in prison. They were also comforted and encouraged by God and by each other. In this new year, members of Early Rain Covenant Church are still being harassed in their workplaces and persecuted because of their faith. School authorities are greatly pressuring some members at their schools, and church workers who have not yet been detained are still being closely monitored through various methods.

Jan. 3: Brother C, who went missing for 48 hours, suddenly returned home and was being monitored by community police officers with “red armbands.” During these 48 hours, brother C was detained at the Chengdu City East Gate Police Station. On the first day of interrogations, police handcuffed this brother to the interrogation chair for 24 hours. He did not sleep or rest and was given no food or drink during this time. Many phones and computers from his home were taken. His wife was taken to the police station for interrogation while carrying her swaddled child. Three men and one woman, none of whom identified themselves, interrogated brother C for 48 hours straight using harsh language, threats, and yelling.

Jan. 4: 90-year-old scholar and brother Zhang Xianchi came down with a sudden illness and was rushed to the hospital. Brothers and sisters dropped what they were doing and went to the hospital. Brother H, from one of the church plants, was being strictly monitored at the time. He broke away from those trying to prevent him from leaving and came to Chengdu to be at the bedside of brother Zhang with the other brothers and sisters. They prayed, sang worship songs, and accompanied him during the hospital stay.

Jan. 5: In the afternoon, the wife of one brother in criminal detention who had had been pregnant for 10 weeks hemorrhaged badly. Brothers and sisters rushed to help her get to the hospital. Our Father in Heaven took the child in her womb back to himself. His mom named him Abel and wrote a poem titled “On the Road.” Little Abel has already returned home. We are still on the road, waiting for the day when we all arrive home! (During the Dec. 9th incident at Early Rain Covenant Church, area police officers broke down their door in the middle of the night and dragged this sister from her bed to the courtyard of their complex. She was interrogated for a long time at the police station.)

Jan. 6: This was the first Lord’s Day worship of the new year. The Scripture was the Gospel of John 14:1-14 and the sermon was “Do not Be Troubled.” At 5:00 p.m., while nearly 20 students of the Gospel Class [a Sunday School class for seekers] were eating at a restaurant, area police officers from the Shuyuan Road Police Station arrested them. Students of the Gospel Class were released one by one around midnight. They were required to sign pledges that had been printed off ahead of time which forbade them from meeting together and from attending Lord’s Day worship and Bible studies at Early Rain Covenant Church. The next day, three people were taken back to the police station and interrogated. These three members (sister Li Chengju, sister Deng Keli, and brother Zhu Hong) were still not released after 24 hours. After many inquiries, we were told that they are being kept at the Pixian County Detention Center. Their relatives have not yet received any legal documents regarding their detention.

Jan. 7: Brother Chenbing finally found sister Xiaofeng’s detention notice at the post office. The reason it was stuck at the post office was because the mailing address on the notice did not contain the name of her residential district. Brother Chenbing can finally send clothes to his wife. Some sisters said, “We are truly joyful people in the Lord. When we receive a detention notice we are excited and thankful, as though we just received a letter of admission into the Kingdom of Heaven…God has not forgotten the female criminals in prison. He has sent them a few gospel heroines!”

Since the “December 9th incident” at Early Rain Covenant Church, churches from all around the world have been praying for Early Rain Covenant Church in many ways. There have been outdoor prayer meetings. There have been calls to pray every day at a certain time. There are also brothers and sisters from all around the country who are fasting and praying on their own for the members of Early Rain Covenant Church. We believe that God has allowed suffering to come to his children in order to accomplish something greater. Our ultimate hope is not that this country would allow freedom of worship, for the kind of worship our Father in Heaven desires is worship in spirit and in truth, and this worship cannot be restricted. Our ultimate hope is that the gospel would spread throughout the whole world and that the Kingdom of Heaven would come in its fullness!

Early Rain Covenant Church
January 8, 2019  

Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (12/26/18-01/01/19)

12/26: In addition to Christmas Eve gatherings in small groups, there were also small group gatherings in the middle of the week. Brothers and sisters studied, shared, and prayed together, and everyone was greatly comforted. The homes of some brothers and sisters were closely monitored on Wednesday evening and all day Sunday, preventing them from attending the gatherings. 

12/28: Preacher Cheng Zhangchun was transferred to criminal detention after his sentence in administrative detention was served. 

12/29: Little sister Zimi returned to her heavenly home. Around 70 brothers and sisters gathered at Zimi’s home in the evening to bid her a solemn farewell. They were very grateful. Two police officers came. It was a testimony of the gospel for them.

Twenty-some families have husbands or wives in jail. Family members who expressed their thoughts on Weibo or WeChat all had their accounts closed and their articles deleted. They started a public Telegram channel called “Reflections on the Early Rain Covenant Church 12/9 Incident” (https://t.me/qysysnpd). You are welcome to subscribe!

12/30: On the Lord’s Day, we gathered together for worship using special methods. The sermon was “The LORD Will Double Your Blessings” and the Scripture was Job 42:1-17. Everyone was greatly encouraged. However long we suffer, we will be blessed with double blessings for just as long, and this entire process will testify to the glory of God. 

On the previous Lord’s Day, worship was interrupted at the home of Elder Su Bingsen. Almost 20 adults and children were taken to the police station until 5:00 p.m. On this week’s Lord’s Day, all of these people still persisted meeting together and used this as an opportunity to practice doing “small things” for the Lord and to practice overcoming fear and worry in their hearts. Praise the Lord! This was the first time these two groups finished a worship service in its entirety without interruption since December 9th. 

Brother Wang Jun, who led the outdoor worship service on the Lord’s Day of December 16th by the river, completed his sentence today and returned home! Everyone called him “The Long-Bearded Knight” and “The Missionary.” 

As New Year’s Day approaches, there are still brothers and sisters being forced to leave their homes immediately. They are looking for temporary places to stay and trying to pack. They are experiencing many difficulties. The law firm where one sister works terminated her contract after she refused to sign a pledge promising not to attend gatherings at Early Rain Covenant Church. She may now not be able to obtain her lawyer’s certification. Many brothers and sisters have been given a “final notice” that if they attend a gathering at Early Rain Covenant Church again, they will be placed in detention. 

12/31: The New Year’s prayer meeting began at 8:30. Each small group took turns leading everyone in a song and in a prayer and shared what they were thankful for. The brothers and sisters were greatly comforted and encouraged. As they entered the new year, everyone listened to the hymn “Everlasting Lord,” based on Psalm 90, hoping that they will have as many days of joy as they do of suffering. 

1/1/19: Many family members of those detained have appointed lawyers to take on the 12/9 case, but the lawyers are still not being allowed to meet with their clients. The reason given by the detention center is still that the case is being reviewed. One of the litigants is from Guangdong and is not a Christian. She has been kept in Chengdu under suspicion of “illegal business operations.” Her lawyer has also not been able to meet with her. Not only have these appointed lawyers not been able to see their clients, they have been asked, one after another, by relevant departments to drop their cases. 

Nation-wide News:

A Three-Self Church in Luoning County, Henan Province has been forced to remove the First Commandment from the Ten Commandments. Earlier in August, the cross on this church’s building was taken down by the government. Bibles have reportedly been completely removed in order to make way for a new translation of the Bible based on so-called “traditional culture” and the core values of socialism. The government has also required all churches to teach the “core values of socialism” as doctrines. 

The homes of villagers in Anhui Province have started being searched and all things related to Christ are being destroyed. Some illiterate sisters have been sending voice messages to encourage each other not to voluntarily take down religious décor in their homes. As a result, their WeChat accounts have been deleted. House churches in cities are also being closed and banned. 

Summary and Prayer:

The new year will bring more challenges. Persecution may become commonplace in more areas. Ask the Lord to lead us and protect us as we walk in the will of God, that we would do so by faith and not by sight, that we would trust in the good purposes of God, that we would have hearts of gratitude and joy, and that we would respond to all maltreatment with a spirit of gentleness. Pray for all pastors, leaders, brothers, and sisters who are detained and in prison. Ask the Lord to comfort, strengthen, and protect their bodies, souls, and spirits from harm. Ask him to open doors for the gospel, that they may boldly preach the gospel! Ask the Lord to look after and protect those who have been forced to move, those who have been threatened at work, and other brothers and sisters who are being coerced and forced into difficult situations. Ask that they would resolutely follow Him, that they would give the most beautiful testimonies for him on earth. Ask that those in authority would not abuse their authority, that those carrying out laws would not violate their consciences, and, more importantly, that God would soften their hearts and open the door of salvation! May the Kingdom of God come quickly!

Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (12/28/18)

Since the ‘12/9’ incident began, Early Rain Covenant Church’s WeChat [i.e. social media] groups, including evangelism groups, Bible study groups, fellowship groups, education groups, and humanitarian groups (nearly 200 in all), as well as over half of the personal WeChat accounts of church members, have all been permanently shut down or restricted from sending messages. Tencent, the company to which WeChat belongs, did not give any explanation when they shut down these ministry groups of Early Rain Covenant Church. Church members’ personal WeChat accounts have been shut down with notices saying the accounts are “fake,” “too large,” or “unused,” and they have not been given an opportunity to appeal. 

The radio station used by the church to spread the gospel has been deleted by NetEase. NetEase has not only restricted the public from listening to the gospel through the NetEase cloud service, they have also deleted all of the gospel materials in the account and forcefully taken away Early Rain Covenant Church’s ownership of all the audio recordings in the account. 

On December 11th, the church’s Facebook account was stolen, preventing us from telling the public about the harsh persecution brothers and sisters of Early Rain Covenant Church are experiencing. 

Through a series of restrictions on Early Rain Covenant Church and on the faith of brothers and sisters, and through increasingly strict measures preventing church members from preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, authorities are suppressing true churches like Early Rain Covenant Church by controlling various public resources. In this moment we see the mighty arm of God upholding his people, showing them favor and performing wondrous works. 

Through much hard work, Early Rain Covenant Church members have opened new media accounts in order to spread the glorious gospel and eternal hope of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are as follows: 

Early Rain Covenant Church’s Gospel information Telegram channel: https://t.me/earlyraincovenantchurch

Early Rain Covenant Church’s Telegram group for “seekers” [i.e. non-Christians interested in Christianity]: https://t.me/joinchat/KgFdAle4UqB81s4Q6Zc2KQ

Early Rain Covenant Church’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/cha…/UCn7IF7YEKrgKi0LaCsX8YCg/about…

Early Rain Covenant Church’s GitHub account: https://github.com/chengduqiuyu/-/issues

Email: earlyraincovenantchurch@gmail.com

At 6:00 p.m. this evening, a number of police officers came to the home of Preacher Cheng Zhangchun and searched his house. They took a few books, CDs, and his cell phone. Those who came notified his family that Preacher Cheng Zhangchun has been transferred from administrative detention to criminal detention. He is now being held by authorities at the Chengdu City Detention City.

On December 15th, authorities placed Preacher Cheng Zhangchun in administrative detention for 14 days on charges of ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble.’ He was originally scheduled to be released on the 29th of this month. According to Chinese criminal law and the usual practices of the justice department, Cheng Zhangchun and the other brothers and sisters in detention might be facing indefinite detention. Authorities can continually alternate forms of detention, prolonging it for several years. The coming days will determine whether or not this is the case for Preacher Cheng Zhangchun.

We just received news that many family members of those in detention have been told they cannot leave their homes tomorrow because city leaders are coming. 

A preacher from Enfu Church was notified that authorities are currently trying to determine how close the connection is between the two churches [i.e. Early Rain Covenant Church and Enfu Church].

During this ‘smokeless war’ in China today, when you see the Chinese government shutting down an influential house church on December 9th, when you see Pastor Wang Yi and other brothers and sisters continually being thrown in prison, when you see the following list of those in detention, all of this tells you the actual situation in China. 

List of Early Rain Covenant Church Christians with whom we have lost contact or who are being detained (as of 7:51 p.m. on 12/28/18):

List of those in criminal detention (21 people):

1. Pastor Wang Yi (inciting to subvert state power, in secret detention)
2. Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (inciting to subvert state power, 12/10/18, in secret detention) 
3. Elder Li Yingqiang (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
4. Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
5. Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
6. Sister Li Xiaofeng (illegal business operations)
7. Sister Lü Jinheng (illegal business operations)
8. Brother Fu Lijun (illegal business operations)
9. Sister Huang Yaling (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
10. Elder Li Zihu (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
11. Brother Wang Fei (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
12. Elder Su Bingsen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/17/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
13. Brother Zhu Xiaoguang (illegal business operations, 12/13/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
14. Sister Huang Yutian (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, a Christian from Chongqing, detained for visiting a sister from Early Rain)
15. Brother Dai Zhichao (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/19/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
16. Brother Zhu Dong (charge unknown, 12/15/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
17. Preacher Cao Qingen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/14/18, detained at Chengdu Detention Center)
18. Brother Liang Huali (illegal business operations, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
19. Brother Song Enguang (illegal business operations, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center) 
20. Brother Luo Yao ( charge unknown, 12/12/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
21. Preacher Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/15/18 on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and transferred to criminal detention after serving his sentence, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)

List of those in administrative detention (4 people, 3 have completed their sentence):

22. Brother Wang Jun (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/18/18 for worshipping outdoors)
23. Brother Liu Hongliang (placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 12/17/18)
24. Brother Liu Xin (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/10/18)
25. Brother Chen Bin (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/17/18)

List of those with whom we have lost contact for an extended period of time (2 people):

26. Brother Liu Yingxu
27. Brother Ding Shuqi

Early Rain Covenant Church
8:56 p.m. on 12/28/18”

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Update #22

“Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.’” (Matt. 2:13-15)

Like the “White Terror” during the first Christmas, brothers and sisters of Early Rain Covenant Church, as members of the Lord Jesus, are currently walking the path that the Church's Head once walked. Authorities are continuing to suppress Early Rain Covenant Church through everything from criminal detention, administrative detention, enforced disappearances, stalking, and financial pressure to the seizing of church property. 

On Christmas Eve, the 23rd-floor sanctuary of Early Rain Covenant Church was taken over by the Chengdu Qingyang District Shuangyanjing Community Police and converted to a community police office space. Linxishu Church, a church plant of Early Rain Covenant Church, was seized by the Pidu District authorities and community police. The church property at Enyue Church, another church plant of Early Rain, was cleared out by New Tianfu District authorities. The current church spaces were privately purchased or rented. As long as the civil contract has not expired, no one is allowed to alter or cancel it without the permission of both parties. Officials and local governments have violated both the law and morality. They have stolen nearly 1000-square-feet of real estate without paying one penny. 

And yet, Lord, we still praise you. Lord’s Day worship at Early Rain Covenant Church was observed in the homes of families and small groups called and set apart by the Lord, as well as other locations. Some brothers and sisters were confined to their own homes. One small-group’s worship was interrupted by police. A total of 20 people (including 8 children) were all taken to the police station. They returned peacefully to their homes the same day. Another small group was forced to change locations. Yet another was spoken to by police after the meeting ended. In these difficult circumstances, the Spirit of the Lord has been feeding, strengthening, and challenging everyone through Chapter 2 of Matthew’s Gospel and through His servants who are in the middle of these trials and tribulations. 

Lord, I thank you because we have been praying about a prison ministry for a long time. We have seen your hand. One brother who has not been baptized gave the following testimony after being detained for five days: “[Even though] there were only 11 beds and 31 people living there, everyone there eagerly wanted to hear the gospel. Everyone asked me to give them my phone number. Some of them were drug dealers. They said they would contact me as soon as they got out and that they would take their wives to church. They all called me Professor and loved listening to me talk about the gospel…As long as someone was willing to speak, everyone else loved to listen. When it came time for me to leave, they didn’t want me to leave. They bought a kettle, put hot water inside of it, and wrapped it in a blanket until the evening. When evening came, they said, 'Professor, you’re leaving and we don’t want you to leave. Let us wash your feet.' This was such an uncommon occurrence there. Having my feet washed with warm water moved me so much.” When the sisters from the church heard this testimony, they were also deeply moved. They thought of their husbands, who are all good speakers, and realized that there are many people eager to listen to them. They knew that God had clearly sent them to the people in that place. Mrs. Su said, ‘I think we can describe this as hungering and thirsting for righteousness. Each person is longing to hear someone tell them about the gospel, to tell them about the Truth.’ Amen! You have opened the prison doors and allowed us to see your good, acceptable, and perfect will. (Rom. 12:2)

Lord, we confess our weaknesses and inabilities, our little faith, and our nervousness and anxiety while facing persecution. Forgives us in Christ and grant us more of your power, wisdom, and endurance. Let us see the wondrous, steadfast love you have shown to [us] in a besieged city. (Ps. 31:21)

Lord, even though the shepherds have been stricken and the sheep scattered, this Christmas Eve the saints of Early Rain Covenant Church heard the praises of the heavenly hosts who appeared in the sky when the Lord was born. We see the ancient cross. We have been raised from the dead and hidden in Christ. In the midst of this spiritual war, we hear Chinese churches all around the world today singing “God’s Love is in China” and “For the Cause.” Through faith we see from afar the great jubilation of the Lord’s second coming. We long for that day to come quickly! Lord, on Christmas we hear the sound of the prayers of churches everywhere, like the sound of many waters. We hear them worshipping together with all the saints in Heaven and the twenty-four elders and every creature saying loudly together, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Rev. 5:13)

Lord, thank you. God, Immanuel, you are with your children today through your Holy Spirit. You are our God, and we are your people. Thank you for sending us to be ambassadors of the gospel for your Kingdom, for giving us the whole armor of God to wage war on this evil day against our enemies—namely, sin, the corrupt world, and demonic forces. Thank you for raising up prayer warriors from all over the world to pray for Early Rain Covenant Church and to pray for the thousands of Chinese churches being persecuted for the sake of the Lord’s name. We see what Elisha saw and cry, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” (2 Kg. 2:12)

Pray for the brothers and sisters who are locked up. Ask that the Lord would protect, strengthen and use them mightily, that they may become unique ambassadors of the Kingdom of God. 

Pray for the family members and children of those who are locked up. Ask the Lord to comfort, protect, and provide for them, to be for them a husband and a father. 

Pray that God would provide for the brothers and sisters in the midst of their hardships, that they would be led and comforted by the Word of God, that they would have wisdom and creativity in meeting together informally as they are prevented from meeting in the way they used to, and that they would strengthen and support each other. 

Pray for the police officers, guards, and grid monitors that the brothers and sisters are encountering. Ask the Lord to awaken their consciences, to bring them out of deception, and to cause them to be drawn to and persuaded by the gospel to which the brothers and sisters are testifying. 

Pray for the hearts of the authorities, officials, and executives. Ask Jehovah to manifest his righteousness to them and to forgive their ignorance. Ask God to spare them of his wrath, for in this day and age, they do not know what they are doing. Ask the Lord Christ to give them a spirit of repentance!

Early Rain Covenant Church
Tuesday (Christmas Day), December 25, 2018 

List of Early Rain Covenant Church Christians with whom we have lost contact or who are being detained (12/25/18):

List of those in criminal detention (19 people):

1. Pastor Wang Yi (inciting to subvert state power, in secret detention)
2. Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (inciting to subvert state power, 12/10/18, in secret detention)  
3. Elder Li Yingqiang (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
4. Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
5. Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
6. Sister Li Xiaofeng (illegal business operations)
7. Sister Lü Jinheng (illegal business operations)
8. Brother Fu Lijun (illegal business operations)
9. Sister Huang Yaling (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
10. Elder Li Zihu (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
11. Brother Wang Fei (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
12. Elder Su Bingsen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/17/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
13. Brother Zhu Xiaoguang (illegal business operations, 12/13/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
14. Sister Huang Yutian (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, a Christian from Chongqing, detained for visiting a sister from Early Rain)
15. Brother Dai Zhichao (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/19/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
16. Brother Zhu Dong (charge unknown, 12/15/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
17. Preacher Cao Qingen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/14/18, detained at Chengdu Detention Center)
18. Brother Liang Huali (illegal business operations, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
19. Brother Song Enguang (illegal business operations, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center) 
20. Brother Luo Yao ( charge unknown, 12/12/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center) 

List of those in administrative detention (5 people, 2 have completed their sentence):

21. Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 12/15/18 on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”)
22. Brother Wang Jun (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/18/18 for worshipping outdoors)
23. Brother Liu Hongliang (placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 12/17/18)
24. Brother Liu Xin (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/10/18)
25. Brother Chen Bin (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/17/18)

List of those with whom we have lost contact for an extended period of time (2 people):

26. Brother Liu Yingxu
27. Brother Ding Shuqi

Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (12/22/18)

As of today, 16 members of Early Rain Covenant Church have been placed by authorities in criminal detention, 4 have been placed in administrative detention, 5 have gone missing, and more than 150 have been arrested and taken to police stations for long interrogations, including pregnant women, children, and elderly people. Nearly 700 members are being monitored, followed, and threatened by community authorities and security departments of their workplaces. Two people have been beaten and suffered serious wounds. The sanctuary on the 23rd floor, the library on the 21st floor, the liberal arts college and seminary on the 19th floor, and the sanctuary and K-12 school on the 6th floor have all been ransacked and emptied. 

Brother Wang Jun, while peacefully and reasonably negotiating with police, was seriously and violently attacked. His head, knees, and toes received wounds in multiple places. After the church lost its sanctuary, he, along with other brothers and sisters, worshipped Christ the Lord beside the Funan River on the Sabbath last Sunday, where he was once again detained. His child, who had just turned one year old, and his wife Tang Shuangfei were also detained. After being interrogated for more than 30 hours straight, brother Wang Jun was sentenced to 14 days in administrative detention. 

On December 20th, police came again to the home of Elder Su Bingsen and searched it without a warrant, violating the privacy of other family members. Elder Su Bingsen, as well as the other pastors, elders, preachers, and members in criminal detention, have been deprived of the right to meet with an attorney. We have no way of knowing with reasonable certainty how police are treating them, whether or not they have been abused or tortured while in detention. We plead for the Lord’s mercy. 

Normal gatherings at the homes of brothers and sisters are being greatly disrupted. Authorities are sending unidentified men to stand guard outside the buildings and residential areas where these homes are located. These men are following members when they go out and preventing people from visiting them. Families opening their homes for Bible studies are being greatly pressured and coerced. Police are threatening them by saying that if they open their homes again, they will immediately be placed in criminal detention on charges of ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble.’ 

Even so, brothers and sisters are still holding fast to the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Bible to not stop meeting together. They are still bravely preaching His Truth and meeting together in various forms to study the Bible and to comprehend God’s Word. 

We offer up thanksgiving to God. As his church is under great assault, he is reviving multitudes of His faithful children.

Early Rain Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church
Saturday, December 22, 2018

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Update #21

"'If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small…My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.' (Prov. 24:10, 13)

The arrests and persecution of the church are now entering their tenth day. Suppression of brothers and sisters in the church continues. Since they could not enter the church sanctuary on the Lord’s Day of December 16th, some church members worshipped outside. Many members were confined to their homes. After arresting members on the Lord’s Day, police are still seeking to arrest the 'organizers of the outdoor worship.' They are continually suppressing members, not even allowing them to hold group activities outdoors. Some members were warned by police that if they gathered 'illegally' again, they would be placed in criminal detention. Not even two or three people are allowed to meet together. 

Elder Su Bingsen was taken to the police station on December 15th and has been there for nearly 72 hours. He has yet to be released. We have confirmed that he is in criminal detention. We have heard no news regarding Preacher Cao Qingen, who was taken more than 48 hours ago on the 16th. His family members went to the police station to inquire about him. As soon as they mentioned his name, the police went into a rage and refused to provide any information. Brother Wang Jun was taken on the 16th for participating in outdoor worship. On the 18th, he refused to sign a pledge and was placed in administrative detention for 14 days. His wife and nursing child were released. As church members are being brought to the police station, their phones are being forcefully opened and inspected. Brothers and sisters are still being sought, taken away, and required to sign pledges. 

This morning, seminary student Dai Zhichao was taken from his home and his family members threatened. Elder Li Yingqiang’s home was once again searched by police today. We just received word that brother Liu Hongliang, a member of the church, has been placed in criminal detention for 10 days. 

We have been unable to sign in to the church Facebook account since December 11th. We have already confirmed that it is under police control, and other accounts related to it have been hacked. The persecution is starting to expand to the elders of other churches in the presbytery, including Elders Wen Hongbin and Yan Hong. Police have come to their homes and put pressure on them. Some are being followed when they leave their homes. Some are being directly forbidden by police from leaving. 

We especially ask all churches praying for the brothers and sisters of Early Rain Covenant Church who are in the middle of these trials to still pray with great joy. Even though now, for a little while, we have been grieved by various trials, these trials are testing the genuineness of our faith—more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire—so that it may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Pet. 1:6-7)

May the Lord give strength to those in prison and help them to stand firm. May he give grace to those brothers and sisters who are being restricted and do not yet have freedom, that they may continue, through various means, meeting together in small-group Bible studies, having fellowship, and worshipping on the Lord’s Day. 

As churches intercede on our behalf, we ask that you especially pray for those in this midst of this persecution whose faith is weak and who are afraid. Ask that neither personal failures (like signing a pledge under coercion) nor personal victories (which cause us to look down on others) become barriers in our fellowship with Jesus. May we firmly believe that all of this is covered by God in the goodness and grace of Christ and that the blood of Jesus Christ is able to cleanse us from all sin, for we have a high priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses and who intercedes for us in Heaven. May the Holy Spirit help brothers and sisters to be able to taste the sweetness of the good Word of God, and may He grant joy to their souls in the midst of this tribulation. 

May the Lord give faith to the deacons, elders, staff, and other brothers and sisters. Even as the darkness temporarily hides us, may we light in our hearts advent candles looking forward to the coming of Christ, causing hope, faith, joy, and peace to rise up within us. May we believe that the true light which came to this world 2000 years ago will enlighten all men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (Jn. 1:9)

A song written by a brother titled ‘Darkness has Temporarily Hidden Us’: 

Tribulation stalks us, our enemies surround us,  
But life continues to multiply. 
Inside the walls I see the silhouettes of my beloved brothers,
Gentle and mild.
All men who resolve to be godly 
Are temporarily hidden by darkness.
Coming from the same hope, 
They are united and divided in this world;
They meet and then part. 

O Lord, lead us like sheep into the midst of wolves,
We walk freely toward chains. 
For you, too, were once given over to death
For our sins.
This faith is ever strengthened. 
Before the night runs toward dawn,
See that the world is like yesterday,
Forever gone,
Fleeting like a mist.

See how all things are faintly intertwined,
Forming a Heavenly song.
Wait until the frigid winter passes, when rain is plentiful
And the past stops. 

Goodness quietly encircles us;
Each day comes new comfort.
In Babylon, we remember Zion;
In a land without a Lord,
We weep and bless,
Endure and wait,
Pray and ask.

Goodness quietly encircles us;
Each day comes new comfort.
In Babylon, we remember Zion;
In a land without a Lord,
We weep and bless,

Goodness quietly encircles us;
Each day comes new comfort.
In Babylon, we remember Zion;
In a land without a Lord,
We weep and bless,
weep and bless.

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church at 2:00 a.m. on 12/19/18

Attached: List of those who have already been placed in criminal detention:

Pastor Wang Yi (incitement to subvert state power)
Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (incitement to subvert state power)
Elder Li Yingqiang (stirring up trouble)
Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
Sister Li Xiaofeng (summoned on the charge of illegal business operations; after 210 hours, we have still not received a detention notice)
Sister Lü Jinheng (illegal business operations)
Brother Fu Lijun (illegal business operations)
Sister Huang Yaling (stirring up trouble)
Elder Li Zihu (stirring up trouble)
Brother Wang Fei (stirring up trouble)
Elder Su Bingsen (detention term began 12/17/18; his wife has seen the detention notice; he is being kept at the Chengdu City Detention Center)

List of those placed in administrative detention:
Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 12/15 on charges of “stirring up trouble”)
Brother Liu Xin (summoned on 12/10 on charges of “stirring up trouble” for posting prayer updates on Wechat and later placed under administrative detention for 5 days; on 12/16 he was set free.)
Brother Wang Jun (arrested on 12/16; placed in administrative detention on 12/15 for not signing a pledge)
Liu Hongliang (arrested on 12/16; placed in administrative detention for 10 days)

List of those with whom we have lost contact for an extended period of time:
Detained for more than 216 hours: Liu Yingxu, Song Enguang, Ding Shuqi, Liang Huali”

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Request #20

The arresting of church members has continued for over one week now. Yesterday, there was once again large-scale suppression of the Lord’s Day gathering at the church. The building entrance was full of uniformed and plainclothes police officers. Brothers and sisters in proximity of the church were all taken away. Members meeting together outside were also taken away by police, who had gotten word of the meetings. Those brothers and sisters who were taken away included nursing infants. They were not released from the police station until after 1:00 a.m. today. 

None of the lawyers of those in criminal detention have been able to see their clients. They have been refused for various reasons. For example, they have been prevented on the grounds that their clients are still being interrogated. At present, the lawyer of Ge Yingfeng cannot meet with Ge Yingfeng. The lawyer of Pastor Wang Yi was also immediately prevented by public security officials from meeting with Wang Yi’s family and was later spoken to by judicial administration agencies. 

Communication networks between church members have been blocked off. Cell phones are being monitored. Members are being prevented from visiting each other. When members leave their homes, they will be followed by police or community authorities. A weak sister will be monitored and followed by three to four people. May God open their hearts and let them see what they are afraid of. Brothers and sisters are continually being sought and required to sign pledges. 

We have received no news regarding Elder Su Bingsen (12/15) and Preacher Cao Qingen (12/16) since they were taken away more than 24 hours ago. 

The following is taken from notes written by one brother who was just released: 

‘Love for police officers means accepting illegal detention at any time and joyfully walking into the interrogation room. 

‘While inside, as soon as I thought about my wife and family (everyone in the church is family), I thought about us spreading the gospel in one accord. I couldn’t help but suddenly start praying out loud for them and thanking God for them. I was not afraid of anything. 

‘The officer said, “Security is more important than anything.” I responded, “The value of a soul is greater.” 

‘After completing the record, the officer asked, “What doctrines do you all teach?” I sat up straight and recited, “What is your only comfort in life and death? Answer: That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.”' 

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church at 5:00 p.m. on 12/17/18

Attached: List of those who have already been placed in criminal detention:

Pastor Wang Yi (incitement to subvert state power)
Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (incitement to subvert state power)
Elder Li Yingqiang (stirring up trouble)
Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
Sister Li Xiaofeng (summoned on the charge of illegal business operations; after 120 hours, we still have not received a detention notice)
Sister Lü Jinheng (illegal business operations)
Brother Fu Lijun (illegal business operations)
Sister Huang Yaling (stirring up trouble)
Elder Li Zihu (stirring up trouble)
Brother Wang Fei (stirring up trouble)

List of those placed in administrative detention:

Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 12/15 on charges of “stirring up trouble”)
Brother Liu Xin (summoned on 12/10 on charges of “stirring up trouble” for posting prayer updates on Wechat and later placed under administrative detention for 5 days; as of this morning he is free.)

List of those with whom we have lost contact for an extended period of time:

Detained for more than 192 hours: Liu Yingxu, Song Enguang, Ding Shuqi, Liang Huali

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Update #19

The many arrests of church members that began the Lord's Day evening of December 9th have continued for an entire week now. The Lord’s Day gathering at the church today was suppressed again. All brothers and sisters in proximity of the church sanctuary were taken away. A gathering of fifty to sixty brothers and sisters that met at a nearby park was interrupted, and three church workers leading the service were taken away by police. Some sisters took young children to a sports field at a school to bask in the sun (the husbands of some of these sisters have been criminally detained or summoned). All of them were taken by police to the police station and have not yet returned. Among them are nursing infants. 

Communication networks between church members are being blocked. Cell phones are being monitored and controlled. People are being followed, guarded, dispersed, and taken away. Brothers and sisters are not being allowed to visit and comfort each other. Two sisters who went to visit the wife of Elder Li Yingqiang were taken away by police. In addition, brother Lu Xuetao was taken by police from his home. Sister Ren Ruiting and brother Jiang Wenyu were each spoken to by police this afternoon. Seeing that we have not been able to contact many brothers and sisters, we conservatively estimate that more than 60 brothers and sisters were taken away by police today. We are grateful that some small groups were still able to find somewhere to peacefully meet and share this Lord’s Day together. 

Locks were replaced by the landlord of the church building rented by church plant Deyang Field Church. They were unable to enter. Elder Hao Ming led the brothers and sisters in regular Lord’s Day worship at the riverside. Everything was peaceful. 

Because Preacher Jiang Tian is being guarded at his home 24 hours a day, close to 30 brothers and sisters of church plant Gospel Church came to his home for worship. Soon after they began, close to 30 police officers, Domestic Security Protection Bureau officers, and Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau officers arrived, including a secretary and bureau chief. They took away Preacher Jiang Tian’s phone and hit him. They even tore up his clothes. They later searched materials in his home and tried threatening him to sign a pledge. 

In the afternoon, Preacher Cao Qingen of church plant Linxishu Church was taken away from the entrance of the church by a police car with license plate number A7303. They’ve been sitting around waiting by the church entrance for the past week. When Preacher Cao Qingen approached, a few Domestic Security Protection Bureau officers and police officers came and surrounded him. Some recorded video of him for five minutes and then made him get inside the police car and took him away. 

Lord, your servant Pastor Wang Yi has been arrested now for one week. He has used his life to practice these words he preached: 

‘As for me, I live for three things:
Kneeling while praying, standing while preaching, and running while evangelizing. 
For this, the Lord has given me three silk bags:* 
Moving at any moment, being imprisoned at any moment, and returning to my heavenly home at any moment.' 

The Lord’s love not only greatly drives him, it drives all of us brothers and sisters. We care not whether we live or die, as long as the Lord’s gospel is spread quickly. China needs the gospel. This ancient kingdom needs a baptism of repentance by your Spirit. There are more than 1.3 billion people here who do not know you and who will go to hell. May the Lord give the future of China to the Chinese church and call these 1.3 billion souls by your name, the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As for us, we gaze upon your face through your beloved Son and our hearts are satisfied. 

I march on with a mission,
Awakening China from its slumber.
Even when I bleed, 
I will never turn back. 
I march on with a vision, 
Seeing China evangelized
And the gospel taken to the corners of the earth. 

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church at 7:00 p.m. on 12/16/18

*In ancient China, a silk bag was used as a kind of envelope for delivering letters. 

Attached: List of those who have already been placed in criminal detention:

Pastor Wang Yi (incitement to subvert state power)
Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (incitement to subvert state power)
Elder Li Yingqiang (stirring up trouble)
Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
Sister Li Xiaofeng (summoned on the charge of illegal business operations; after 120 hours, we still have not received a detention notice)
Sister Lü Jinheng (illegal business operations)
Brother Fu Lijun (illegal business operations)
Sister Huang Yaling (stirring up trouble)
Elder Li Zihu (stirring up trouble)
Brother Wang Fei (stirring up trouble)

List of those placed in administrative detention:

Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 12/15 on charges of “stirring up trouble”)
Brother Liu Xin (summoned on 12/10 on charges of “stirring up trouble” for posting prayer updates on Wechat and later placed under administrative detention for 5 days; as of this morning he is free.)

List of those with whom we have lost contact for an extended period of time:

Detained for more than 168 hours: Liu Yingxu, Song Enguang, Ding Shuqi, Liang Huali
Detained for more than 144 hours: Zhang Xiaohong, Liu Xin

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Update #18

According to the command of Scripture, today is the Lord’s Day, a day to worship God. Even though most brothers and sisters are under the supervision and control of community authorities at their homes, and more than a dozen brothers, sisters, pastors, and preachers are in prison, those brothers and sisters who can still freely leave their homes went to our church sanctuary in the Jiangxin Building as usual to prepare to meet the Lord. 

The metal gate below the building where the church is was locked, and every entrance had many plainclothes police officers and SWAT team officers preventing people from entering the church. They took away some of the brothers and sisters. Brothers and sisters then conducted a small-scale worship meeting at a nearby park, which was also shut down by police. Police took away more than 30 brothers and sisters.

Last night at 11:00 p.m., police went to the home of a church member to advise him not to go to church the next day. After he refused, they held the church member to the ground and tied his hands behind his back with a rope before taking him to the police station. Police also went to the home of the wife of an elder who is being criminally detained and threatened her, telling her she was not allowed to open her home for worship gatherings. This is the current situation. 

Lord, today we worship you in police cars. We worship you in police stations. We worship you in detention centers. We worship you in prisons. And we worship you in homes. We have no other goal except to worship you alone. We ride in buses heading to police stations as though riding down the road to Zion. For you tell us, Lord, that you are looking for worshipers who worship you in spirit and in truth. May you be pleased with our worship. We have nothing to offer you but our hearts. We offer them up sincerely to you now. 

Wherever I am,
Whatever I meet,
I will follow your will forever. 

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church at 10:30 a.m. on 12/16/18

Attached: List of those who have already been placed in criminal detention:

Pastor Wang Yi (incitement to subvert state power)
Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (incitement to subvert state power)
Elder Li Yingqiang (stirring up trouble)
Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
Sister Li Xiaofeng (summoned on the charge of illegal business operations; after 120 hours, we still have not received a detention notice)
Sister Lü Jinheng (illegal business operations)
Brother Fu Lijun (illegal business operations)
Sister Huang Yaling (stirring up trouble)
Elder Li Zihu (stirring up trouble)
Brother Wang Fei (stirring up trouble)

List of those placed in administrative detention:

Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 12/15 on charges of “stirring up trouble”)

List of those with whom we have lost contact for an extended period of time:

Detained for more than 144 hours: Liu Yingxu, Song Enguang, Ding Shuqi, Liang Huali
Detained for more than 120 hours: Zhang Xiaohong, Liu Xin

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Update #17

The police have given the wife of Preacher Cheng Zhangchun a notice of administrative detention. He has been placed under administrative detention for 14 days. He is being held at the Pidu District Detention Center. Brother Wang Fei of Enyue Church has been placed under criminal detention on suspicion of “stirring up trouble.” Deacon Xu Jiale and small group leaders Zhu Hong and Guohai have each been taken from their homes. Some other small group leaders are also being monitored at their homes. Just a minute ago, Elder Su Bingsen was summoned from his home on charges of “stirring up trouble.” 

The church is in a difficult situation, but the brothers and sisters and church staff still have fiery hearts of worship. Police are using great force to try to keep us from worshiping God tomorrow. May the Lord confound their schemes. 

Lord, you alone are our support. You alone are our joy. You alone are our peace. Although this Christmas month has not been very peaceful, we know that you were born into this world for us. We are waiting for you. It appears as though evil has triumphed, but Christ still reigns. 

Christ is the Son of the eternal God. He died for our sins, rose on the third day, and gave us eternal life. Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. And so we live in order to worship the Lord. We are looking forward to the Lord’s Day tomorrow. 

I follow the Lord to Gethsemane,
I follow him to the Place of the Skull,
And then to that everlasting home
Where sorrow and darkness are no more. 

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church at 10:00 p.m. on 12/15/18.

Attached: List of those who have already been placed in criminal detention:

Pastor Wang Yi (incitement to subvert state power)
Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (incitement to subvert state power)
Elder Li Yingqiang (stirring up trouble)
Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
Sister Li Xiaofeng (summoned on the charge of illegal business operations; after 120 hours, we still have not received a detention notice)
Sister Lü Jinheng (illegal business operations)
Brother Fu Lijun (illegal business operations)
Sister Huang Yaling (stirring up trouble)
Elder Li Zihu (stirring up trouble)
Brother Wang Fei (stirring up trouble)

List of those placed under administrative detention:

Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention on 12/15 on charges of “stirring up trouble”)

List of those with whom we have lost contact for an extended period of time:

Detained for more than 144 hours: Liu Yingxu, Song Enguang, Ding Shuqi, Liang Huali
Detained for more than 120 hours: Zhang Xiaohong, Liu Xin
Detained for more than 72 hours: Luo Yao

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Update #16

Preacher Cheng Zhangchun was taken from his home last night at 8:00 p.m. and has not yet returned. Police sent a text message to his wife and notified her that Preacher Cheng has been summoned on suspicion of illegal activity. Husband and wife Wang Yunpai and Wang Shanshan were taken from their home at 8:00 p.m. last night and have not yet returned. At present there are still many police officers guarding the apartment buildings of some church staff and some brothers and sisters. Many brothers and sisters who have been sent back to their hometowns are still being harassed and guarded by local government authorities. 

According to some testimonies of brothers and sisters that have emerged, they have been sharing the gospel while under guard. They have been using their suffering as a beautiful testimony for the Lord. Some police officers and workers have been very interested in the gospel, even giving their addresses and asking for Bibles. May the Lord choose for himself children from among these law enforcement officers persecuting the church. 

Lord, the greatest freedom in the world is the freedom of becoming your children. You say that we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free. May your Spirit fill us and make us to worship freely, to enter prison freely, to spread the gospel freely. Give us free and noble hearts. Turn us into liberated criminals willing to be detained by the world. For a servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted you, they will persecute us. 

We also ask you to forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. Open their eyes to see your glory and turn them into free children! May you become for them salvation and hope that they might escape the judgement of eternal death! 

In the cross, in the cross
Be my glory ever;
All our sins are washed away
Only by His blood. 

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church at 11:00 a.m. on 12/15/18.

Attached: List of those who have already been placed in criminal detention:

Pastor Wang Yi (incitement to subvert state power)
Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (incitement to subvert state power)
Elder Li Yingqiang (stirring up trouble)
Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
Sister Li Xiaofeng (summoned on the charge of illegal business operations; after 120 hours, we still have not received a detention notice)
Sister Lü Jinheng (illegal business operations)
Brother Fu Lijun (illegal business operations)
Sister Huang Yaling (stirring up trouble)
Elder Li Zihu (stirring up trouble)

List of those with whom we have lost contact for an extended period of time:

Detained for more than 130 hours: Liu Yingxu, Song Enguang, Ding Shuqi 
Detained for more than 120 hours: Zhang Xiaohong, Zhu Zijun, Lin Endian, Zhang Yan, Chen Xuelin, Jiao Zhen
Detained for more than 115 hours: Liu Xin
Detained for more than 72 hours: Luo Yao, Ren Ruiting

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Update #15

Brother Zhu Xiaoguang was taken from his home to Taisheng Road Police Station. Police notified him verbally that his wife may be criminally detained on the charge of “illegal business operations.” He has not yet received a written notice. We do know Elder Li Zihu was placed under criminal detention on the charge of “stirring up trouble.” In addition, there is evidence of a security breach that indicates that the Facebook page of Early Rain Covenant Church is being controlled by police. For this reason, we have stopped using the Early Rain Covenant Church Facebook page.

In our previous prayer update, we mentioned the names of a few pastors who have come to visit Chengdu from various cities. Because we did not ask for their permission ahead of time, we may have caused them unnecessary trouble during their visit. We apologize for this. May the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ cover us and help us to complement each other well as the Kingdome comes together.

“As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:36-39)

May the Lord on this gloomy day,
All tears shed in secret wipe away,
Make me learn that you are my stay, 
And let me bless others all of my days.

Sent by Early Rain Covenant Church at 9:00 p.m. on 12/14/18

Attached: An announcement by Early Rain Covenant Church regarding legal aid

From the time this incident began on December 9, more than ten brothers and sisters (including pastors, elders, and deacons) have been investigated for criminal responsibility and have been issued legal documents. At the same time, there are also a few lawyers who have expressed willingness to provide legal help. Considering the fact that this is, in the first place, a spiritual battle, we will not deny our faith, including all facts and evidence related to it. We also believe that those pastors and workers who have been detained do not believe they have any criminal intention or have taken part in any criminal activity.

Because our goal is to testify to our faith, and for the benefit of law enforcement officers, we will assist families in hiring lawyers to defend them at the appropriate time. But at the moment, considering the potential dangers facing lawyers, as well as the present realities regarding the judicial process, we do not recommend lawyers to intervene on a large scale for now.

The church expresses sincere gratitude to all of those lawyers who have bravely come forward, motivated by righteousness and personal friendship. May the Lord remember your sacrifice!

Sent by Early Rain Covenant Church on 12/14/18

Attached: List of those who have already been placed in criminal detention:

Pastor Wang Yi (incitement to subvert state power)
Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (incitement to subvert state power)
Elder Li Yingqiang (stirring up trouble)
Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
Sister Li Xiaofeng (summoned on the charge of illegal business operations; after 120 hours, we still have not received a detention notice)
Sister Lü Jinheng (illegal business operations)
Brother Fu Lijun (illegal business operations)
Sister Huang Yaling (stirring up trouble)
Elder Li Zihu (stirring up trouble)

List of those with whom we have lost contact for an extended period of time:
Liu Yingxu, Song Enguang, Ding Shuqi (no contact for more than 120 hours)

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Request #14

Those students who are currently being held at the Xinjin County Legal Learning Center are being deported back to their hometowns one by one. Their hometown’s local governments, neighborhood communities, police stations, and so on are seeking them out one by one and talking with them. Their ID cards are being withheld, they are being placed under surveillance at home, and they are being forbidden from returning to Chengdu. 

Last night one sister gave birth to a son. This is their first child. Her husband (who is also a student at the liberal arts college) asked repeatedly to be with her for the delivery, but he was not allowed. Instead, he was forced to return to his hometown in Shanxi. 

Thank the Lord! Pastors all over China are encouraging and comforting us in many ways. Pastor Jin Tianming of Beijing Shouwang Church, Pastor Yang Hua of Guiyang Living Stone Church, Elder Zhang Chunlei of Guiyang Renai Reformed Church, and others released a statement stating that they are guilty of the same crime as Pastor Wang Yi. Pastor Fang Xiaojun of Xuzhou Daoen Presbyterian Church, Preacher Yang Xibo of Xiamen Xunsiding Church, Preacher Fu Yonggang of Sichuan Mount Olivet Church, and other pastors came to Chengdu to be persecuted alongside Early Rain Covenant Church. Pastor Fang Xiaojun has already been found by Domestic Security Protection Bureau officers who came over from Xuzhou. 

Thank the Lord! Overseas churches are all closely following our situation and praying for us. Pastor John Piper, Pastor John Frame, Pastor Tim Keller, Pastor Stephen Childers, and other pastors, brothers and sisters are all praying for us. 

Lord, this is your good pleasure. Through this church’s suffering, you are spurring on your children to walk the path of the cross. The cross connects the eternal world with the temporal world. For authorities who do not believe in God, the cross is the only means by which they can know Him. 

From where is love born? It is born from the Place of the Skull. It is born from Golgotha. It is born from the cross. It is born from the bleeding side of Christ. For it is there where Christ suffered for the sake of love. 

“For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (2 Cor. 5:13-15)

Obey the will of God alone,
Do not ask what the future may hold. 
Strive together, work as one, 
And let the gospel flourish. 

Sent by Early Rain Covenant Church at 11:00 a.m. on 12/14/18

Attached: List of those who have already been placed in criminal detention:

Pastor Wang Yi (incitement to subvert state power)
Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (incitement to subvert state power)
Elder Li Yingqiang (creating disturbances)
Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
Sister Li Xiaofeng (summoned on the charge of illegal business operations; after 110 hours, we still have not received a detention notice)
Sister Lü Jinheng (illegal business operations)
Brother Fu Lijun (illegal business operations)
Sister Huang Yaling (creating disturbances)

List of those with whom we have lost contact for an extended period of time:

Liu Yingxu, Ding Shuqi, Song Enguang (no contact for more than 110 hours)

Letter from Wife to Detained Husband

Dear husband, 

Last night I slept well. When I woke up this morning, I heard that you had been taken away. At that moment, my heart had great peace because I knew you had already prepared for this moment long ago. 

I haven’t been able to sleep tonight. I’m sure things are hard for you right now, too. So I’ll just accompany you in your sleeplessness. I want to tell you a few things in case you might see this. 

I heard that they usually bring you back to your home when they search it. I subconsciously hoped to use that opportunity to see you for a moment, but they still haven’t come. I’m not going to wait any longer. I’m not afraid of them at all. On the contrary, I pity them. I hope you do, too. 

I know you must be worried about me, because you’ve seen how much of a mess I’ve been lately. But I’m doing very well now. I’ve loved the Lord more these past two days than I ever have before. More than anything, my heart is joyful and at peace. At night, tears flow by themselves. But it’s not grief. It’s hard to say exactly what it is. I just spent a long time thinking about it, and I’m still thinking to myself, “Why are you crying?” I finally asked myself, “Aren’t you willing to experience this tiny little bit of pain for the Lord?” My conclusion was, “I’m willing.” I’m very willing, because I know that this slight, momentary affliction is not worth comparing to that eternal glory that is to come. I’m willing to foot that bill. So why am I crying? It might just be because I’m human. But you can completely relax. Crying is one thing. Finishing crying is another. I allow myself to cry, but I haven’t felt the least bit of despair. Even if I look for it, I can’t find any. Sometimes I want to despair for a moment and grieve a little bit, but I really don’t feel like it. So, forget about it. I think the Lord has replaced that despair with his fullness. 

The little ones miss you. I told them, “Missing daddy is normal. It would be strange not to miss him. If you miss him, then miss him.” Little Di then immediately said, “After we fall asleep, we won’t miss him anymore.” And then he immediately fell asleep. 

This afternoon I prayed with you according to our agreed upon time. Sorry, I was ten or so minutes late. 

Lastly, I want to say that knowing what I’m going to receive as a result of what I’m going through now makes me feel so much better. I really do thank our Father in Heaven. His plans are most certainly the best. They cannot be mistaken. So, what more is there to say? I will joyfully accept them. 

I love you! I’m going to bed now. 

Sent by Zhang Xinyue, the wife of elder Li Yingqiang, on 12/12/2018 at 3:52 a.m.

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Update #13 

Today around noon, the wife of Elder Qin Defu received a registered letter dated December 10th. Elder Qin Defu has been placed in criminal detention on the charge of “illegal business operations.” In addition, brother Fu Lijun has also been placed in criminal detention on the charge of “illegal business operations.” 

More than ten police officers visited the home of Preacher Cheng Zhangchun, of church plant Canaan Church, to speak with him. Soon afterward, he was taken to the police station and released at 9:00. Surveillance cameras have been installed outside the door of his home and outside the door of the church. Preacher Wu Jiannan, of church plant Deyang Field Church, was taken from his home in Deyang this morning to Chengbei Police Station. Elder Li Zihu, of church plant Enyue Church, was taken from the church along with his wife last night. We have had no contact with them for 24 hours. Enyue Church worker sister Huang Yaling has been placed in criminal detention on the charge of “provocation and troublemaking.”

Preacher Jiang Tian, of church plant Gospel Church, was threatened and told that if they continue meeting he will be detained. The doors of church plant Lin Xi Shu Church and of the home of Preacher Cao Qingen are being monitored by people 24/7. 

Lord, we can only give you the glory. This is a group of children you bore through the cross. They are joyfully willing to pay the price for their faith. They are willing to lay down their lives, not for themselves but for your kingdom, to love souls and to hold fast to the calling to which you have called them. 

For to live is Christ, and to die is gain. We honor Christ alone in everything. If the king commands us to disobey Christ, then we will not submit to his command. We will lay down our lives again and again. The authorities want to use violence to frighten us and make us surrender, but the love in us overcomes all of these things, and this love is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Thank you to all brothers and sisters around the world for your prayers and concern. The church is the body of Christ, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. 

The ancient cross is my support,
A disgrace to the world, a treasure to me. 
I take up my cross and run down that path, 
The cross is ever my glory!

Sent by Early Rain Covenant Church at 7:00 p.m. on 12/13/18

 

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Update #12

There are reports that Jiang Rong, [Wang Yi’s] wife, is being kept at an assigned residence under the charge of “inciting subversion of the state.” Lawyers requested to visit Deacon Ge Yingfeng at the detention center, but they were denied for various reasons. Limiting visitations like this is a violation of the law. To correct some previous information, sister Lü Jinheng was charged with “illegal business operations.” Elder Qin Defu has been detained now for more than 84 hours. We do not have any information about him at the moment.

In addition, we have received some very terrible news. Sometime after 7:00 p.m. on the 9th, more than 10 people shut off the power to the home of sister Li Xiaofeng, a worker at the seminary, in order to break into her home. They summoned her on charges of “illegal business operations.” They restrained and took away her husband Shen Bing. Then they restrained her and crudely search her home. They confiscated many books, cell phones, and hard drives. After handcuffing and detaining Shen Bing for 24 hours, they gave him all of her clothes. So far, they have not notified him of her whereabouts. 

Last night we lost contact with seminary student sister Ren Ruiting and seminary worker Kang Yuhong. Elder Li Zihu took more than 20 brothers and sisters to visit Enyue Church, the church plant that was banned and closed down. We received word that more than 20 officers with the Religious Affairs Bureau came over, after which we lost contact with everyone. 

While Preacher Wu Jiannan was preparing to take some brothers and sisters to visit Deyang Field Church, a church plant that was banned and closed down, they were dispersed by police. When he returned home, he found the door pried open, but nothing was taken. 

We received word that brother Song Enguang will be escorted by police back to his hometown in Henan. Police called his wife and told her that he will leave Chengdu before 12:00 p.m. this afternoon. In addition, we have lost contact with seminary student brother Ding Shuqi for over 80 hours now. Those brothers and sisters who were arrested and later released have not seen him either. 

One sister who has been released said there are more than 50 students from the seminary and liberal arts college at the Xinjin County Legal Learning Center waiting to be deported. The brothers and sisters chose a student representative to negotiate with officials. He succeeded in gaining them freedom to read their Bibles and worship together. Each day they choose a student to lead devotionals. The brothers and sisters there have transformed that place into a sanctuary through their fiery faith. 

Lord, you are the Almighty One, yesterday, today, and forever. We will worship you in our homes. We will worship you in churches. We will worship you in detention centers and in prisons. This nation does not worship you, but we will worship you. For you are the only Lord who has died and risen again, and you will rule forever! The church is the bride of Christ, holy and spotless. May the Lord accept our worship!

King of Kings, Lord of Lords,
You alone are worthy of worship and honor!

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church at 10:10 a.m. on 12/13/18.

 

Western China Covenant College 12/9 Persecution Update

Members of the body who are deeply concerned about us, peace be with you! Beginning on December 9th, Early Rain Covenant Church, Early Rain Academy, the seminary, and the liberal arts college were persecuted one after another in various ways. The pastor and elders were forcefully taken away. Four student dormitories were consecutively broken into. All students in the dormitories were forcefully taken away without any cause or procedure. 

On December 9 at around 8:30 p.m., the Shubei Xiang male dormitory of the liberal arts college was broken into and all of the brothers were forcefully taken away, 8 in total. 

On December 9 at around 8:37 p.m., the Caojia Xiang female dormitory of the liberal arts college was broken into and all of the sisters were taken away in two waves, 12 in total. After being taken to the Caojia Xiang Police Station and fingerprinted, they were transferred to the Xinjin County Legal Education Center around midnight. 

On December 9 in the evening, the Yinghua Si male dormitory of the liberal arts college was broken into. Brother Weng Guanghe was taken away. Shortly afterwards, police came back and took away 4 undergraduate brothers. 

On December 9 at around 10:00 p.m., brother Jianqing of the liberal arts college and sister Li Chengju from his small group were detained at the home of another believer. Their personal information was illegally searched because they both refused to cooperate with officers exercising various degrees of violence. They were then handcuffed and taken to Chenghua Tiaodeng River Police Station. (That evening there was a special couples small-group dinner. Without following any proper protocol, 12 plain-clothes officers forced their way into the living room and took Deacon Ge Yingfeng away into custody.)

On Dec. 10 at around 10:00 p.m., the door of the Taisheng Building dormitory of the liberal arts college was pried open. Sister Zhang Yan and sister Wu Zongman were taken from the dormitory.

On Dec. 10 at around 10:00 p.m., brother Jianqing was released. 

On Dec. 11 at around 11:00 a.m., the door of the Taisheng Building dormitory was forced open again and the remaining 10 female students were all taken away, the youngest being 16 years old.  

At this time, the liberal arts college estimates that 36 students were taken away. We have not received news about them. We only know that they were taken to the Chengdu Xinjin County Legal Education Center. 

On Dec. 11 at around 2:00 p.m., sister Xiao Yue was deported from the Xinjin education center back to her registered permanent address in Dayi County. She is at home now, and we have contacted her. She is in good condition. 

On Dec. 12 at around 9:00 p.m., sister Zhou Xiaojuan was released from Xinjin Education Center and deported to her hometown. She told us that there are still more than 50 brothers and sisters being detained at the Xinjin Legal Education Center, waiting to be deported back to their hometowns. But they all have freedom of movement, and everyone is extremely joyful and unified. After being detained unlawfully for more than 48 hours, everyone took the initiative to choose a representative from among them to negotiate with police and ask for them to give back their Bibles and to grant them freedom to worship. They also decided to fast. Thank the Lord! Negotiations were successful to the point that everyone can read the Bible and have corporate worship. Every day a seminary student leads worship in the morning and evening. They worship continually on the outdoor balcony. The detention center has become a preaching grounds for the Lord’s gospel and a place for his people to worship. Glory to the Lord! May the Lord be glorified! When we heard this news we were greatly comforted. Sister Xiaojuan said that the brothers and sisters inside are in a very stable condition and very joyful. There have been no issues. They’ve been guaranteed standard food and shelter. Everyone is greatly cherishing their time locked up, worshiping together. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!

At the same time, sister Wu Zongman was released from Hua Yang Police Station. We have not yet made contact with her.

 

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Update #11

In the afternoon, Pastor Wang Yi’s mother told us that she received news that Pastor Wang Yi is in criminal detention on the charge of “incitement to subvert the state.” The wife of Elder Li Yingqiang received a phone call from Taisheng Street Police Station and was told that Elder Li Yingqiang is in criminal detention on the charge of "internet provocation.” She was asked to go pick up his personal belongings tomorrow. 

Yesterday we found out that Elder Ge Yingfeng is being detained on the charge of “illegal business operations” and sister Lü Jinheng on the charge of "illegal business operations." Elder Qin Defu, Brother Song Enguang, Brother Liu Yingxu, Brother Ye Yin and the others who were the first to be arrested have been detained for more than 72 hours, and we still have no news from them. We still have had no contact with some brothers and sisters. 

The brothers and sisters detained at Xinjin County Legal Learning Center are being deported back to their hometowns. Authorities have asked the local governments of their place of permanent residence to come to Chengdu to escort them. Some seminary students upon being deported to their hometowns have immediately been sought by local police and interviewed. Nearly all the dormitories of the seminary and liberal arts college have been searched and possessions seized. 

Amidst this persecution, many brothers and sisters still bravely attended their small-group Bible studies tonight. Most were able to meet as usual, brothers and sisters worshipping through hymns and praying fervently. Some small groups were harassed by police. Three police cars are parked outside the home of one small group leader, and police are now examining their personal IDs. These arrests that have lasted three days and three nights are still continuing.  

Lord, you have given great glory to your servants and children. You have allowed them to suffer with you, and you have made them faithful unto death. Lord Jesus Christ, when you were hung on that tree you were charged with “incitement to subvert the state.” Only you can subvert this world that confounds truth and falsehood. The ruler of this world has already been judged. 

Your kingdom has come. Your rule is forever. You forever govern your people with love and truth and give them peace that surpasses all understanding. Subvert us with your truth. Let us proclaim your truth to this nation. For we have no other weapons except the weapons of prayer and the Bible. We have no other hope except your passion and resurrection. 

Christ is Lord. Grace is King.
Bear the cross. Keep the faith. 

May the Lord helps us and give us great joy! 

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church on 12/12/18 at 8:00 p.m.

 

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Update #10 

We have lost contact with Pastor Wang Yi and his wife, along with approximately 80 church staff, brothers, and sisters, for more than 60 hours now. There are still police cars parked outside some church members’ home with plain-clothes police offers monitoring them all day long. The latest news is that Deacon Ge Yingfeng has been charged with the crime of running an illegal business operation and is being held at the Chengdu City Detention Center.  

Just now, the police took Sister Sun Ailun and her three children, Deacon Xu Jiale and his wife, sister Feng Xiaojing, and Deacon Xiao Luobiao from Zhu Hong’s home to Cao Jiaxiang Police Station while visiting Brother Zhu Hong, who had just been released. 

The church’s elder session published a call for the church to pray and fast all day on December 12. Some other Christians have also sent out appeals themselves for a worldwide fasting and prayer meeting. May the Lord give us love for souls. These law enforcement officers greatly need the gospel of Christ. They have greatly sinned against God. We need to pray for them, for we were once like them. 

May the Lord himself speak words of comfort to us, for he has given his life for us. We suffer with those brothers and sisters who suffer as though imprisoned with them. May God make peace like a river flow through our hearts. 

According to the church’s contingency plan, small groups will meet together this evening as usual. Please strengthen your resolve, brothers and sisters. Experience the filling of the Holy Spirit and the renewal of your lives in the midst of every kind of tribulation and danger. Meeting in homes is our last resort. We are willing to go to the police station, and we are willing to lose our freedom, for we are not willing to lose out on this spiritual feast. 

He bore the curse, that I be blessed;
He drank the cup, that I might feast.

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church on 12/12/18 at 1:00 p.m.

 

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Update #9

It has been more than 48 hours since we have lost contact with Pastor Wang Yi and his wife. Pastor Wang Yi previously wrote a statement to be released if he were to be detained for more than 48 hours. We have just released it. Thank you, brothers and sisters, for your constant concern and prayers. The Lord will look after his servants. 

The wife of Deacon Ge Yingfeng has been notified that Deacon Ge has been detained. He is being held at Xipu Police Station. Another sister told us that there are 47 brothers and sisters being held at the Xinjin County Legal Learning Center. Two sisters were stripped naked and searched. The husband of a sister who is currently giving birth at the hospital has been out of contact for nearly 48 hours. May the Lord grant a peaceful delivery!

In addition, church plant Elder Li Zihu has been released and set free. The church noticed that there was a prayer letter sent out today at 12:20. We want to clarify that it was not officially released by us. We want to encourage brothers, sisters, and friends to follow and forward personal prayer updates, but please do not use the official church signature. 

As of now, authorities are still forcing brothers and sisters to sign a pledge stating that they will not attend Early Rain Church anymore. Some brothers have been deported back to other cities. Community authorities are using landlords to force brothers and sisters to move out. At the same time, support and prayers for Early Rain Covenant Church and Pastor Wang Yi are continuing to grow, both within China and beyond. Many brothers and sisters have issued statements, under their real names, saying they have committed the same crime as Pastor Wang Yi. 

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are his judgments! How inscrutable are his ways! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen!

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church on 12/11/18 at 7:50 p.m.

 

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Update #8

On December 11th at around 2:00 a.m., Elder Li Yingqiang was arrested while trying to evade police. At present, the pastor and four elders of the main church have all been arrested. Two of the elders have since been released and are being monitored (by authorities) at home. All of the preachers [i.e. unordained pastors] and a portion of the seminary students have either been arrested or are being monitored at home. We have lost contact with our church plant Elder Li Zihu and his wife. All of the church plants have either been officially banned or their possessions confiscated. 

We do not know how long they will continue arresting people, and we do not know if there will be another prayer update because there is no privacy here. They are using violent means and methods to arrest and threaten meek and loving Christians. We are like sheep that have entered a pack of wolves. 

They want to completely eradicate Early Rain Covenant Church from this country, but the will of God is to stamp this church even more firmly onto this country and to engrave it even deeper into their hearts. The Lord’s Church is the only community that will endure forever. Today, may we who bear the weight of eternal life meet head-on all of the hardships, evils, and tears of this world. This is the good intention of the Lord. This is the lot that has fallen in our laps. May the Lord make our cups overflowing!

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church on 12/11 at 10:00 a.m.

 

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Request #7

Three brothers and sisters who were just released said violence was used against them in the police station, even to the point of being trampled on. One brother was dragged away in the middle of the night at 1:00 a.m. after his hands and feet were bound. He was detained for a whole day. Many places on his legs are bleeding from the abuse, and his body is covered in wounds. These wicked acts are horrendous. 

One brother said that while being detained for 24 hours, police didn’t even give him one bite of food or any drink of water. He was deprived of rest. He was shackled to a chair the whole evening and only slept two or three hours.  

At about 9:00 p.m. police asked firemen to break down the door of the female dormitory of the liberal arts college. They took away 12 female students. At 9:00 p.m., one of our church plants in Dazhou was raided and inspected by police, and the ministry staff were taken away. 

At 10:00 p.m., a brother saw more than 30 young men wearing badges come out of one or two trucks near the church and enter the church building. We believe these men came prepared to demolish the church and to destroy the equipment and facilities in the church and church school. 

It is late but we are still out of contact with many brothers and sisters. We do not know where to go to look for these brothers and sisters. Parents are searching for their children. Wives are searching for their husbands. Brothers are searching for their sisters. 

Lord, look at the grievances of your children! This country tramples on the dignity of your children, but these children are the apple of your eye. You will heal these wounds with your loving hands, and teach us to love God and to learn the endurance of Christ in the midst of this suffering. Lord, come quickly! 

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church on 12/10/18 at 11:45 p.m.

 

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Request #6

We have lost contact with Pastor Wang Yi, many elders and staff for over 24 hour since they were taken. We still do not know where they were taken and for what reason. Some brothers and sisters who were taken have been released and are being monitored in their homes. One seminary student was sent to the Northeast for detention because he helped edit church materials. He is being charged with the crime of illegal publishing. Some other seminary students are also being detained. 

From yesterday until today, many police have entered the church and forbid brothers and sisters from entering. We suspect that the church has been officially banned and closed. In addition, three of our church plants received notices today that they are being banned. Pastors from two of them have been taken to the police station and have lost contact with us. Pastors and preachers from a few other churches in Chengdu are in police custody and are being questioned. 

They continue to harass, threaten, and arrest our brothers and sisters. Police have just broken down the door and entered the female dormitory of the liberal arts college. Because police are still harassing church members at their homes, many members cannot return to their homes this evening and are wandering about homeless. 

The war is continuing. Brothers and sisters, please continue to follow these events and pray for us. This slight, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. May the will of God be fulfilled in us!  

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church on 12/10/18 at 8:16 p.m.

 

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Request #5

Currently there are several large trucks parked outside the church building. Police have begun carrying away materials from the church. 

Police continue to go to the homes of church members and are pressuring them to sign a pledge that they will not attend Early Rain for illegal gatherings. Otherwise, they will be arrested. One after another, members are either being taken away or losing contact. Some members are being detained at the church, others are being detained in their homes. Police are also going to the workplaces of members to talk with them and to put pressure on them.

Currently, over 100 brothers and sisters have been taken away. Many of their children have been forced to separate from their parents and are being cared for by other church members. 

There is light after darkness. Lord, open our eyes! Let us see the heavens opened and the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of God. Lord, send your angels and the heavenly armies to protect your people. Let us take the suffering mind as our weapon, that we may usher in a great spiritual revival. 

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church on 12/10/18 at 2:20 p.m.

 

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Request #4

We have lost contact with Pastor Wang Yi and many of the elders, church workers, and brothers and sisters for more than 15 hours now. Church workers and members are still being arrested. An elder and a few small group leaders are hiding out in different locations to evade arrest. Their wives and children are being blocked by police officers guarding the doors to their homes.

Police officers are being sent in great numbers throughout communities harassing church members and telling them that the church has been banned. Officers are threatening them, telling them that they must sign a pledge that they will not attend the church. Officers are going to the work places of church members to speak with them. Police are guarding the church building today. The children who came to the church school were sent home. One student was taken to the police station and was made to write a statement. 

The Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs called and informed our church plant, Linxishu Church, that by the afternoon they will be given an official notice that the church has been banned.  

In addition, we continue to lose contact with many brothers and sisters. There is a large-scale disruption to our online communication. Attorney Guo Haibo’s location was discovered and he was taken away. 

It currently appears that authorities are going all over the place and indiscriminately arresting church members, tracking them down all night long and threatening them. Multiple departments are working together to persecute the church. At the same time, preachers from other churches in our presbytery are being interviewed by police. 

May the Lord show us again the same miracle that he performed on May 12. May the Lord pour into our hearts the steadfast love he has for his church. May the Lord make our faith resolute in the midst of this suffering. May he keep us from betraying his name. May he make us willing to suffer, to be imprisoned, and to give our lives for his sake. And may we consider this to be our most glorious crown in this life. 

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church on 12/10/18 at 12:15 p.m.

 

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Request #3

Brothers, sisters, and friends from around the world, thank you for your prayers and concern. The mass arrest of church members that began on the evening of Sunday, December 9, is still continuing. Sichuan police even went through the trouble of traveling all the way to Dongbei (Northeast China) to find a church member who had returned home, where he had recently returned. They urgently called him in for interrogation in the middle of the night. The sound of knocking has been ringing from late night into early morning. They are using all kinds of methods to take brothers and sisters away, even breaking down doors, using searchlights, making threats and so on. Many brothers and sisters were woken up in the middle of the night and taken away. Even some young children were taken to the police station with their parents. It is still unclear why. 

The statistics aren’t complete, but at the moment over 80 brothers and sisters have been taken to police stations. Police are guarding the front entrance of the apartments of many brothers and sisters. 

This persecution is also being directed against Christian education. The wife of Elder Su Bingsen (who is still being held at the police station and hasn’t yet been released) said, “Just a minute ago at 4:10 a.m., two women with the Education Bureau came to our home and woke me up. They asked about our children’s situation. They registered our children’s names and ages and then explained the compulsory education law to me. They said we must send our two oldest children to the elementary school near the University of Electronic Science and Technology. They said the country must enforce the compulsory education law. I said, ‘You’ve communicated that, thank you. We are not going. If you want to arrest their parents then do whatever you want.’ They said they would stay in touch, and then they left.”Brothers and sisters, please pray especially for the Early Rain Reformed Academy. 

May the Lord vindicate us. The Lord sees all that is happening. We are continuing to pray and entrust everything to him, displaying our faith to the whole world, because the pierced hands of the Lord Jesus Christ are holding our hands and leading us to the path of eternal life. May the Lord destroy the schemes of Satan, for the Lord of the church, Jesus Christ, has already wounded the head of the serpent. 

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church on 12/10/18 at 8:00 a.m.

Attached: The list of the names of the brothers and sisters who have been taken away as of 5:00 a.m. on 12/10/18

1.    Pastor Wang Yi
2.    Jiang Rong, pastor’s wife
3.    Sister Jiang Ruolin 
4.    Deacon Ge Yingfeng 
5.    Brother Zhu Hong
6.    Elder Yan Defu and Sister Xiao Hong Liu (couple)
7.    Brother Ye Yin
8.    Brother Zhang Jianqing
9.    Brother Liu Yingxi
10.  Zhang Guoqing, Assistant Deacon
11.  Elder Su Bingsen (wife went home at 11 p.m.)
12.  Brother Xiao Yingshan
13.  Song Enguang and Feng Xiaojing (couple)
14.  Brother Xiao Baogang
15.  Sister Zhou Xiaojuan 
16.  Brother Zhou Yong
17.  Lost contact with those at Shubei Lane male dormitory; it was confirmed that it was empty as all were taken away 
18.  Lost contact with those at Caojia Lane female dormitory; it was confirmed that it was empty as all were taken away 
19.  Seminary student Lu Ya and another brother
20.  From the seminary - Sister Wang Xiyan, Sister Huang, Brother Zhou Dongdong (lost contact)
21.  Brother Wu Wuqing
22.  Brother Pan Fei and Brother Liu Hengqi (lost contact)
23.  Elder Yan Xixia 
24.  Brother Ding Shuqi
25.  Brother Yun Yunfei and Sister Wang Wei (couple)
26.  Jiang Tian, pastoral staff 
27.  Brother Wu Size
28.  Brother Fu Lijun 
29.  Sister Li Dehui
30.  Sister Li Chengju and child
31.  Liu Xiaole and the children
32.  Brother Wang Jun
33.  Yan Wenju (couple)
34.  Liang Liangli and roommate
35.  Brother Jiang Wenyu
36.  Sister Ran Xiaoran
37.  Sister Lu Jinheng
38.  Brother Yi Yinxiang brother
39.  Brother Hou Hongen brother
40.  Brother Weng Guanghe
41.  Brother Liu He
42.  Brother Kang Kai
43.  Brother Wang Xiwang
44.  Brother Lin Endian
45.  Brother Yang Luga
46.  Brother Tong Feifei
47.  Brother Kang Shaoxin
48.  Brother Sang Ensui 
49.  Brother Pan Fei
50.  Brother Liu Hengqi
51.  Brother Ran Yifei
52.  Sister Zhu Lei sister
53.  Brother Chen Zhibin

According to our incomplete statistics, the above list exceeds 80 people. 

Updated on 12/10/18 at 7:30 a.m.: Assistant Deacon Zhang Guoqing and Brother Zhou Yong have been released. People in Zhang Guoqing’s home have been placed under 24-hour surveillance.

 

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Request #2

On Sunday, December 9, starting in the evening, the Chengdu Public Security Bureau deployed a large number of police officers, raiding the homes of workers and brothers and sisters from the church. The pastor and about half of the workers have been taken from their homes. At the moment, more than 50 brothers and sisters have been taken to the police station. Arrests are still being made. Pastor Wang Yi and his wife, Elder Qin Defu, Elder Su Bingsen, Elder Yan Xixia, Deacon Ge Yingfeng, Ran Yunfei and his wife, and brother Song Enguang have all been taken from their homes, and we have lost contact with them. Assistant Deacon Zhang Guoqing and brother Zhu Hong were taken away while checking on others. The church WeChat account has been shut down. The WeChat accounts of most of the church workers have been permanently censored and shut down. Two dormitories of the seminary and liberal arts college have been raided. Students in the dormitories were all taken away. Just before midnight, police banged wildly on the doors of many workers and brothers and sisters, trying to break down the doors and enter. At the same time, some homes were searched and possessions confiscated. The police have been harsh and unreasonable, showing no consideration to wives and young children. Police cars are at the church building and a large number of police officers are circling nearby. 

The time has come. O Lord! Did you not establish this church for this very purpose? May you display your glory as we are taken away on the day you rose from the dead, as we are interrogated on the night you were interrogated. And may your resurrection power fill us. We wait for you, more than watchmen for the morning! Brothers and sisters, please continue to follow these events and pray for us. 

Issued by Early Rain Covenant Church on 12/10/18 at 1:20 a.m.

 

Early Rain Covenant Church Urgent Prayer Request #1 

Today (12/9/18) at around 6:00 p.m., a ministry team member was taken away by a police car downstairs [in front] of the church building. Soon after, a large number of police officers entered his residence and inspected it. At the same time, electricity was cut off at the home of full-time church staff, Song Enguang and his wife. Soon after, police knocked on the door. There were more than a dozen police officers guarding the church entrance and the three brothers who went to check on him were arrested. We have lost contact with Song Enguang. We have also lost contact with Pastor Wang Yi and his wife. Many police and officers with the Domestic Security Protection Bureau guarded the entrance to his apartment. After being presented with a warrant, they were taken away. Over a dozen officers physically restrained Elder Qin Defu at his home while they searched his home. Elder Su Bingsen and his wife, Deacon Ge Yingfeng, and Assistant Deacon Zhang Guoqing were all taken away. There are a large number of police cars at the church building, and many police officers have entered the church. Many police officers have also been going to the homes of many other brothers and sisters and taking them away. Brothers and sisters, please continue to follow these events and pray for us. 

Issued at 9:36 p.m. on 12/9/18.