by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - A house church in China's Taiyuan city was raided by forty government officials who arrested the pastor and five female members of the congregation at the same time, Christian Headlines reported Monday. While the five women were released some hours after the raid, Pastor An Yankui, whose home the church meets in, was detained for 15 days.
Pastor Yankui’s home church is associated with the Early Rain Covenant Church founded by well-known former Chinese human rights attorney Pastor Wang Yi Shuya in Chengdu. In December 2019, Wang was sentenced by the Chengdu Intermediate People's Court to nine years in prison for "inciting subversion of state power and illegal business operations" because of his church activity. On December 31 2019, the US State Department called for Wang's immediate and unconditional release, stating: "This is yet another example of Beijing's intensification of repression of Chinese Christians and members of other religious groups."
According to International Christian Concern, An’s church was raided because it was planted by the Early Rain Covenant Church: ICC says An’s will likely see further persecution because of this association.
Persecution against Christians in China has been intensifying generally: the US State Department has designated China as a “Country of Particular Concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 for having engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom."
Nevertheless, despite the persecution, there are now some 60 million Christians in China, Christian Headlines reports.