Date: December 13, 2018
Starting on Sunday, December 9, news broke of the arrest of Pastor Wang Yi of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, along with the mass detention of his church leaders and congregants, the separation of their families, and the destruction of both church and personal property. In total more than 100 congregants have been arrested. Some have been released, but 80 people are still missing and arrests are ongoing. The arrests and detentions have at times been physically violent and humiliating/degrading. The viciousness and thoroughness of this attack is unprecedented in recent Chinese history.
House churches across China have been united in fasting and prayer. China Partnership is calling for Christians across the globe to stand with Chengdu in prayer.
We call for a global time of prayer at 8pm EST on Friday, December 14. We also encourage participants to fast as they are able on Friday.
China Partnership will be providing prayer guides for this time of prayer on Friday morning.
In the meantime, we encourage you to read 2 important blog posts from Wang Yi and one of the elders of Early Rain:
Read Wang Yi's statement on his actions, prepared in advance to be released by his church should he be detained for more than 48 hours. "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; no one can make me change my life; and no one can raise me from the dead."
Li Yingqiang, the last elder of Early Rain Covenant Church to be arrested, wrote this letter to the church just a few hours before being found in his hideout and arrested. In it, he describes the church's plan for facing this persecution in the following days, including where to worship next Sunday. "Beloved brothers and sisters, do you have joy? Are you rejoicing in the fact that you are suffering with Christ because of this church? Do you know that we are blessed? The Lord is bestowing on us poor people today treasures of glory from heaven!"
"This English translation was originally published on the China Partnership Blog on December 12, 2018, and is replicated here with permission. We thank Brent Pinkall and the China Partnership translation team for their work."