60 more Christians arrested as church crackdown continues

Monday, December 17, 2018

Jiang Rong (right) holds hands with her husband,
Early Rain Covenant Church Pastor Wang Yi,
during a trip to Xiamen, Fujian this summer.
(Photo: ChinaAid)

(Chengdu, Sichuan—Dec. 17, 2018) Chinese police detained 60 more members of Sichuan province’s Early Rain Covenant Church yesterday, continuing its persecution of one of the region’s largest unofficial churches.

Undeterred by the lock the officials had placed on the gate of their church, several of the Christians chose to meet in a park, but police came arrested three of the congregation’s leaders, World Magazine wrote. According to the news source’s article, another group of Early Rain Covenant Church Christians were meeting at a separate location when authorities interrupted and arrested some of them. Altogether, around 60 people were taken into custody.

According to reports, the authorities took the Christians into custody for attending their weekly Sunday service. A baby is among the detained, as is Minister Cao Qingen, who was beaten.

Last week, local officials launched an attack on Early Rain Covenant Church, arresting around 100 of its attendees, most of whom were taken on the night of Dec. 9. In some cases, the authorities arrested a couple, who were then forced to leave their children. Many of the imprisoned Christians have reported experiencing violence, and several of them have received official charges.

One of the church’s pastors, Wang Yi, was pinned last week with “inciting subversion of state power” along with his wife, Jiang Rong. Contrary to this accusation, Wang said in a letter that he had never intended to change the Chinese political system and that his mission is purely religious. Likewise, Jiang maintained a relatively low profile, never making public statements on political matters.

Sichuan’s government has been targeting Early Rain Covenant Church consistently throughout the year, even persecuting them for remembering the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre and the victims of a deadly 2008 earthquake.

ChinaAid condemns the treatment of these Christians and exposes the abuses committed against them in order to promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.

ChinaAid Media Team
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