Date: January 11, 2020
‘Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.’ (1 Corinthians 15:58)
These words of the Apostle Paul encouraged the early Christians in Corinth to stand firm in their faith and in their work for the gospel, and have inspired millions through the centuries since then. This week, we’re giving thanks for the courage of Pastor Wang Yi in China.
Pastor Wang, who leads Early Rain Church in Chengdu, Sichuan province, has been sentenced to nine years in prison following his conviction on charges of ‘inciting to subvert state power’ and ‘illegal business operations’. He has also been deprived of his political rights for three years.
In 2018 he criticised the government’s policy towards independent churches like Early Rain, and revised regulations which tightened state control over religious activities. He and his wife Jiang Rong were detained in December 2018, along with over 100 other members of Early Rain Church. Jiang Rong and many others have been released on bail, but some remain in detention.
‘Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family – the authorities are capable of doing all of these things. However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith.’
Pastor Wang Yi wrote these words last year, demonstrating his determination and steadfastness in the face of enormous pressure. Join us this week to thank God for his courage and pray for his release.
In summary, please pray:
* Thanking God for Pastor Wang’s courage, and his inspiring commitment to Christ.
* That Pastor Wang will be released quickly and all charges will be dropped.
* For strength and hope for the community as a whole, despite the increasing pressure on them.