China Launches Crackdown On Church Members

Sunday, June 27, 2021

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

(Worthy News) - Members of one of China’s largest unregistered churches face a new crackdown by Chinese authorities after their leading pastor was sentenced to nine years imprisonment on charges linked to his Christian activities Communist-run nation.

The reported detention of several believers of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, follows comments by their jailed pastor Wang Yi who said he had no regrets leading the congregation. “Jesus is the Christ, son of the eternal living God. He is my king and the king of the whole earth yesterday, today, and forever.”

“Since June 4, [Church] Minister Wu Wuqing, his wife Xiong Meifang, and their children have been locked in their own home by governing officials. The fire door, which gives access to the stairs and elevator, has been chained, and guards remain posted outside the door,” confirmed Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC), a prominent advocacy group.

“For the first few days, the guards would unlock the door if visitors came to see the family. However, on June 8, the guards turned a woman and her children away,“ VOMC said. The guards reportedly said that since visitors are prohibited from entering the residence, “they will only be allowed to pass food through the fire door.”

However, on June 12, Hao Guiru, a church member, was detained after visiting the troubled family, according to Christians familiar with the case. “He managed to get through the locks and into Minister Wu's home, where he joined the family in the singing of hymns. In response, the police broke down the door to the apartment and arrested Hao,” VOMC said.

He was released later that day and said on social media: "Brothers and Sisters, peace be with you in Jesus Christ. I have arrived home safely, thanks to God's grace and protection."

However, concerns remain about the other church members facing pressure, Christians said.

VOMC urged prayers, including for those jailed for their faith in Christ. “Prayerfully remember Pastor Wang Yi. And other believers who are presently in prison for their faith. May they find opportunities to share the love of Christ with those around them as they await their release from imprisonment.”

VOMC said it was crucial to also pray for those facing pressure at home. “Pray that Minister Wu and his family will be given the freedom to 'come and go' from their home,” it added. Christians also urged prayers that “their visiting friends and extended family members would be allowed to enter.”

The reported crackdown on the unregistered church is the latest in a series of measures launched by China’s Communist authorities on devoted Christians, rights activists suggest.