Police interrogate Yunfei Ran, renowned writer from ERCC, for participating in online seminar

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Poster promoting Yunfei Ran’s “Christianity and Chinese Culture” seminar. 
(Photo: ChinaAid)

(Chengdu, Sichuan, Province—Nov. 7, 2020) During the evening of November 4, officers summoned Yunfei Ran, a renowned writer from Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC), to the police station for participating in “Christianity and Chinese Culture,” an online seminar. A Christian since 2016, Mr. Yunfei, a knowledgeable and influential independent intellectual, has attended seminary.

In 2011, the Chinese government had detained Mr. Yunfei for six months, charging him with “inciting subversion of state power.” Mr. Yunfei had voiced his opinion on the “Greater Chinese Democratic Jasmine Revolution.” Due to the U.S. government’s intervention, however, authorities later dropped charges and released Mr. Yunfei.

Several years later, when developing “Nicodemus bible study group,” Mr. Yunfei had researched “Christianity and Chinese Culture.” He had also held numerous seminars on this topic before the start of the December 9, 2018 Chinese government crackdown on ERCC.

For the November 3 and November 5, online evangelism seminar, “Gospel during the pandemic,” organizers of the event had invited Mr. Yunfei to speak with global Chinese Christians and people open to the gospel for three sessions on “Christianity and Chinese Culture.”

During his first scheduled session on November 3, Mr. Yunfei talked about “The nature of Chinese culture,” critically summarizing the five following characteristics of Chinese culture:

1. extreme pursue of power and money;
2. relativity of truth;
3. politics under rule of the law of the jungle;
4. culture full of playacting and shows;
5. exclusiveness in blood relationship.

Mr. Yunfei had planned to discuss “Probe into the origin of Chinese culture and Chinese people’s ‘Boxer Rebellion’ mentality” during the November 4 session. For November 5, Yunfei had chosen the topic, “Discussions on the reasons of Chinese people’s anti-religion mentality and ways to refresh Chinese culture.”

Shortly before his second online video session, at approximately 5 p.m. November 4, Mr. Yunfei received a phone call from local police, advising him to cancel this session and the one scheduled for November 5. After that phone call, when police summoned Yunfei to the police station, the organizer of the online seminar had to substitute a previous video recording for the planned live video session.

Organizer of the online seminar plays video recordings of Mr. Yunfei  ’s past seminar. 
(Photo: Screenshot from video)

In the past, following the CCP’s crackdown on ERCC that began in December 2018, police frequently summoned Mr.Yunfei to the station for questioning. Security agents had also placed him under long-term monitoring. 

Mr.Yunfei  posted message on WeChat Moments, telling friends police had summoned him. 
(Photo: WeChat)

When Mr.Yunfei returned home from the police station around 11 p.m. November 4, he posted on WeChat Moments: “I am so grateful to be back home. Because of what has happened, I cannot share my topic with you tomorrow. But, I question, do I really have to talk to spread the gospel? If you understand that persecution also provides a way to spread the gospel, you will rejoice. Persecution not only spreads the gospel to your friends, but also to people watching what happens. When you understand this, you will be filled with rejoicing when police summon you to the station more frequently.” 

Even though Mr.Yunfei lives under long-term CCP monitoring, and police frequently summon him to the station to be interrogated, he says that God fills him with peace and rejoicing. Mr.Yunfei chooses to keep serving God and his church. He continues to lead several book-reading groups to help Christians and people open to the gospel to learn and grow in faith.

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