Church branch members questioned by authorities

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Officials break into a branch of
Early Rain Covenant Church
during one of its services in this
undated photo.
(Photo: ChinaAid)

(Chengdu, Sichuan—Dec. 2, 2018) Officials in China’s southwestern Sichuan questioned multiple members of a branch of the routinely persecuted Early Rain Covenant Church on Nov. 18.

Three staff members from an office responsible for managing the neighborhood visited one of the church branch’s attendees and said they were “registering people dwelling here.” They took down ID card information, asked about the church and Christianity, and photographed the Christian’s baptism certificate and religious decor. The resident refused to answer their questions, and they left afterward.

Police and neighborhood officials phoned another two church members and asked them about the church’s services. Authorities even visited the home of parents whose child volunteered at another church branch and investigated them.

According to Early Rain Covenant Church, one woman who regularly attends services received a phone call from local officials ordering her not to worship at the church. When she asked why, the caller said that Early Rain Covenant Church will soon be shut down, even though it was not regarded as a dangerous religion. The caller also warned the church not to spread positive and encouraging messages.
However, the congregant said she prizes her faith more than her life and will continue to attend the church.

Because of the intense persecution the church has faced, it released a prayer request, stating that all of its campuses would neither acknowledge China’s revised Regulations on Religious Affairs, which is often used as an excuse to persecute churches and the rules of the religious departments nor accept any punishment method law enforcement imposes on them. Afterward, authorities pressured the church members and preachers.

In fact, officials have harassed the Christians more frequently recently, ordering them not to attend church services and stop them from gathering. Different departments have been conducting more investigations on the church and its correlated school and seminary. Despite this, the church continues to hold services, and the school and seminary are still in session.

ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those suffered by Early Rain Covenant Church, in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.

ChinaAid Media Team
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