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People eating together - Photo: ChinaAid www.chinaaid.org
Police monitor church members enjoying a "love feast."
Photo: ChinaAid

On the morning of Sunday, August 22nd, police raided a gathering of members from the Chengdu Early Rain Covenant Church as they met for worship. According to the police officers, someone reported that an illegal assembly was taking place at the location. When the officers tried to enter the room, the home church group leader, Preacher Dai, asked to see a search warrant. However, the officers refused and demanded identification from everyone present.

The police did not immediately stop the Sunday service, for the group was allowed to share in their previously planned "love feast" meal gathering. Following the meal, 17 adults and 10 children were transported to the police station, leaving behind only a blind couple and an elderly woman. At least two of the members endured physical abuse while being interrogated. Those who had been apprehended were eventually released that night, except for Preacher Dai and Brother He Shan.

This is the latest of several raids on members of the Early Rain Covenant Church, as authorities seek to fully eliminate the church, which they consider a cult. The members have continued to meet in smaller groups, frequently changing locations. Since the group altered their meeting place in July, Preacher Dai's home has been closely monitored and he has faced pressure from his local community.

One opposing community leader tried to convince Dai to abandon his faith. When he realized this was futile, the disgruntled leader screamed: "Our Longteng Community does not welcome people like you. We will try every means to force you to move away in a month. We will make that happen." Additional reports on the numerous challenges facing churches throughout China are available at our country report.

Continue to prayerfully uphold the members of the Early Rain Covenant Church as they seek to follow God in the midst of a very hostile situation. Pray for wisdom on behalf of Preacher Dai and other church leaders who are seeking to provide necessary direction to their congregation members. Also remember the church's pastor, Wang Yi, and other believers in China who are currently imprisoned for their faith. May those involved with the church raids witness the love of Jesus reflected in the Christ-like response of these dedicated Christians and, as a result, also turn to the Lord in faith.

Current Ministry Projects

The Voice of the Martyrs Canada continues to help distribute Bibles to Christians in the country, making it possible for them to have their own printed version of God's Word. Additionally, VOMC works with various mission partners to facilitate a Biblical understanding of persecution and discipleship, while presenting ways to effectively respond and minister within the context of hostility.

Project Funds: Bibles, Equipping the Saints, Underground Church

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
1,394,015,977 (July 2020 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Han Chinese (91.6), Zhuang (1.3), Other (7.1)

Religion (%)
Buddhism (18.2), Christianity (5.1), Islam (1.8), folk religion (21.9), Hinduism (<0.1), Judaism (<0.1), other (0.7), unaffiliated (52.2)

Leader
President Xi Jinping (2013)

Government type
Communist party-led state

Legal system
Based on civil law system; influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems

Sources: CIA World Factbook

Pray for China

Pray that the Gospel will be proclaimed throughout China without government interference so many more names can be added to the Lamb's "Book of Life." May there also be a spirit of unity demonstrated among the country's growing churches, further strengthening existing believers and spurring them on in their ministry service and evangelistic outreach within the country's numerous communities.

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