In December 2018, raids on the Early Rain Covenant Church resulted in the detention of more than 100 Christians. All have since been released except for Pastor Wang Yi, who is serving a nine-year sentence, and elder Qin Defu, who was sentenced to four years in prison for "illegal business operations." For previous written reports on Qin's case and the difficulties faced by other members of Early Rain Covenant Church, go to this page.
Qin's wife, Xiao Hongliu, has written a letter, pleading for fellow Christians to remember her family in their prayers. Below is that letter:
Dear brothers and sisters,
My name is Xiao Hongliu, I am Qin Defu's wife. I am begging for intercessory prayers for my family and me.
Defu has been in jail for more than six months. I had received his phone calls from the jail at the beginning of his sentence. Although the calls were only two or three minutes long, as long as I could hear his voice, I knew he was safe and alive.
Although I could not see him personally, I knew he was alive somewhere, where God could see him. However, since the end of March, I have not received his calls anymore. I have lost contact with him for more than 70 days, which makes my heart worry.
My reasoning makes me believe he is still alive, and that God is with him. However, not hearing from him is like an enemy. It hurts me so much that I suffer every day.
Normally, my husband would be managing the church, busy before and after, and I would merely hope for him to return home a bit earlier each night. Now my hope is causing me pain. Every day, I just want to receive one three-minute call from him, but this apparently has become an extravagant hope.
Dear God, please let me follow behind You, pulling on the hem of Your clothes, because I am no better off than the woman who suffered from a blood issue for 12 years.
I know my weakness, so I am begging for my brothers and sisters to pray for me and Qin Defu.
God, please, out of charity, give us mercy. We are so lowly we cannot bear it!
According to Bob Fu, founder of ChinaAid, the Chinese church is facing a level of persecution not seen since the Cultural Revolution when under the leadership of Chairman Mao. Greg Musselman spoke with Bob Fu about the reasons behind the increase of persecution. To view the full-length version of this informative video interview, go to this page.
As we ponder the heart-wrenching pleas of Xiao Hongliu, may our hearts be stirred to lift up our voices of prayerful petition together with hers. May the Lord touch the many Christians who are imprisoned for their faith, as well as their loved ones who miss them terribly and fear for their safety. Pray that Qin will experience God's protection and be granted permission from prison officials to contact his concerned family soon. Remember the millions of Christians throughout China who are facing uncertainties and danger because of the policies posed by President Xi's harsh regime.