Date:                     June 9, 2020



Today, America's wounds are being laid bare during the protests and rioting in the wake of George Floyd's tragic death, which comes on top of our country's ongoing struggle against the coronavirus. As we continue to pray for God's solutions to these heartbreaking situations here at home, Family Research Council wants to remember the abuses endured by our fellow Christians across the world. While we pray for our own country, we also pray for countries where religious freedom does not exist and persecution against believers continues unabated.

In June, our international religious freedom focus is on China.

Formerly an acclaimed legal scholar, Pastor Wang Yi led Chengdu's Early Rain Covenant Church -- one of the most influential churches in China's vast underground Christian movement -- for more than a decade. One observer recalled, "When Wang Yi addressed his congregation... he had rosy cheeks and a winning smile, and when he spoke, it was in a strong and forceful voice, his words as clear as his arguments."

But he is no longer preaching there. Today, Pastor Wang is in prison.

Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong were arrested in a "lightening raid" in December 2018, along with more than 100 church members. His wife and most of the others were released six months later.

On December 30, 2019, Wang Yi was sentenced to nine years in prison for "inciting subversion of state power and illegal business operations."China's authorities could no longer tolerate his powerful message of freedom of conscience and faith in Jesus Christ.

Now, China is very much the focus of international news reports. The U.S. government has also been increasingly outspoken about continuing betrayals, thefts, and abuses America has suffered as a trade partner and ally of China.

And today we see Hong Kong -- and potentially Taiwan -- being threatened by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Will they also soon suffer the CCP's outrageous and continuing human rights abuses?

Meanwhile, religious freedom in China has been declining over the last several years, as Chinese leaders seek to suppress authentic faith and compel religious leaders to reinforce the authority of the CCP. All religions are subject to the government's crackdown on faith, and authorities have proven that they will go to great lengths to suppress religious groups.

Believers in China regularly face a variety of threats posed by their own government, which is unquestionably a global power. Please join us in praying for Pastor Wang Yi as he serves his prison sentence, that he will soon be released. And also pray with us for religious freedom in China -- for people of every faith.

In His Name,

Lela Gilbert
Senior Fellow for International Religious Freedom

Arielle Del Turco
Assistant Director of the Center for Religious Liberty

"Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them..." (Hebrews 13:3)