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Dai Zhichao, his wife, and two boys - Photo: ChinaAid
Dai Zhichao and his family
Photo: ChinaAid

Since the Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) was raided in December 2018, leading to dozens of arrests, the opposition of government agents has been relentless. (For previous reports revealing the ongoing difficulties experienced by the members of this prominent church in Chengdu, click here.) While the church as a whole is no longer able to meet together, ERCC members continue to gather in small groups.

One small group of the church called "Tashui" has been particularly targeted in recent months. In August, police arrested more than 20 members of the group (read more). A Tashui member, Shu Qiong, was beaten and threatened by police on three separate occasions. During the most recent incident, which took place on October 29th, more than ten officers broke through the door of the Christian woman's home while her son was studying with six other children. The boy was thrown out of the way, causing him to fall and cut his head. When Shu tried to intervene, she too was physically pushed down, resulting in the breaking of her jaw.

The leader of Tashui, Dai Zhichao, has also faced repeated harassment from the authorities over the past year. Officials have detained and beat him numerous times for his participation in church activities. On October 17th, he was detained alongside his wife and two children. The police accused them of being members of a cult and demanded that they move from their home. When the family was released late that night, they returned to find that their apartment had been vandalized and the door locks filled with glue.

A week later, their door was spray-painted and the locks again were filled with glue. The police even rented the apartment next door to Dai and his family in order to more closely monitor them. On November 1st, the Christians attempted to leave for a family vacation, only to be detained in their home, causing them to miss their flight.

In a separate incident, on November 1st, police officers visited the home of an elderly couple who were also members of the ERCC. In an unusual turn of events, the officers moved right into their home in order to maintain full-time monitoring. No legal documents or warrants were presented. This couple had previously tried assisting other ERCC members, Shen Bing and Li Xiaofeng, who recently moved back to the city of Chengdu where they encountered persecution by the authorities. The elderly couple's assistance led to the face-to-face monitoring.

On a more positive note, the ERCC has reported that Jiang Rong, the wife of Pastor Wang Yi, was finally able to visit her husband in prison for the first time since his arrest in December 2018. Jiang reports that although Wang has lost weight, he is healthy and pleased that prison guards are allowing him to read. A representative of the pastor's family and their church reports that they were greatly encouraged by the recent visit: "Although we know little about it, we believe that the Lord protects His servant in the dark. May the Lord grant Pastor Wang Yi the opportunity to read Scripture, write articles and...intercede for churches."

Continue to pray for Pastor Wang and the other members of the ERCC who are presently imprisoned for their faith in Christ. In fact, may God protect, encourage and strengthen all of His children in China who are enduring harassment from the authorities. Furthermore, as the government agents are frequently in close contact with the Christians being monitored, please pray that they will have opportunities to hear the Gospel message, know the love of Christ first-hand and, as a result, experience a radical transformation of their hearts through the power of God's saving grace.

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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