On the morning of March 16th, agents from the religious affairs bureau, along with public security officers, raided the Renai Reformed Church in Guiyang, taking more than ten Christians into custody.
Over the years, the church of less than a hundred members has faced ongoing harassment from Chinese Communist Party agents for refusing to join the government-sanctioned Three-Self Church. In September 2018, they lost their facility after being banned from meeting for worship services. Subsequently, the congregation began holding services in restaurants and hotels where they were raided at least three more times.
After hearing of the most recent raid, the church's leader, Elder Zhang Chunlei, went to the police station, along with several other Christians, to negotiate with the officers. The authorities then arrested him. While some of those detained were released later in the day, at last report, Elder Zhang and some of the other church members have not been released. Additional reports on the persecution of Christians in China are available at our country report.
Please prayerfully lift up Elder Zhang and the other believers who are currently being detained by the authorities. Pray for wisdom and strength for all members of the Renai Reformed Church as they seek creative ways to continue their ministry in the face of relentless opposition. In general, continue to remember the many Christians who are being persecuted for their faith in China, asking that God would not only minister to these believers and their families, but also shine His light through them, ultimately leading many more to faith in Christ.