A recent raid in the underground Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China resulted in the arrest of another 60 members in addition to the 100 plus already in custody. The government of China is now intensifying its moves against Christian churches in the country.
The recent raid took place at a riverside park where church members have been meeting for worship gatherings after they were banned from their church building.
“The lock on the church was broken, some of the churchgoers’ homes were ransacked, and many believers were under house arrest or are followed all the time. The church building is being guarded by police and plain-clothes officers, not allowing anyone to enter,” said a church member who asked not to be identified.
Despite the situation of many believers in China, the deep faith and conviction of the Christian community in the nation is still active. Arrested Pastor Wang Yi wrote an open letter urging Christians to stand against persecution from the Chinese regime. And many members still continue to post on social media about their bold stand for their faith.
A recent post in Early Rain’s Facebook page reads as follows: “Lord, today we worship you in police cars. We worship you in police stations. We worship you in detention centers. We worship you in prisons. And we worship you in homes. We have no other goal except to worship you alone. We ride in buses heading to police stations as though riding down the road to Zion. For you tell us, Lord, that you are seeking worshipers who worship you in spirit and in truth. May you be pleased with our worship. We have nothing to offer you but our hearts. We offer them up sincerely to you now. Wherever I am, whatever I meet, I will follow your will forever,”
Remaining members of the Early Rain attended Christmas Eve services elsewhere in the city.
“We will not forfeit our faith because of suppression by the authorities,” Mr. Gu Baoluo, a rice seller and also a member of the Early Rain said in an interview.
As millions around the world gathered to celebrate Christmas, believers in China were being restricted as the government of President Xi Jinping led an unrelenting campaign against churches in China. Let us all together stand in prayer for our brothers and sisters in China.