Early Rain Covenant Church is celebrating some good news: the release of Jiang Rong, wife of Pastor Wang Yi. But the relentless persecution of church members continues.
Jiang Rong was freed on bail earlier last week, as was another church member, Li Xiaofeng. Both women still face trial. We’re delighted to report that Jiang Rong has been reunited with her son, Shuya.
The two women have spent the last six months in custody – after they and more than 150 other members of their church in Chengdu, Sichuan, were detained in December.
Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Early Rain Covenant Church who are suffering intense persecution.
Five remain in detention: Pastor Wang Yi (also known as Wang Li), elders Li Yingqiang and Qin Defu, deacon Ge Yingfeng and church member Gou Zhongcan. Twenty-three others have been released on bail; 28 have served periods of administrative detention.
On June 4, which marked the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, Early Rain families were ordered not to leave home or meet with others. Police surveillance was stepped up, and some houses had their power and water cut off. At least two church members were detained for questioning for several hours.
Zhang Xinyue, wife of imprisoned elder Li Yingqiang, has been visited more than 20 times by officials pressuring her to stop home-schooling her daughter. She has also now been given notice by her landlord, under pressure from officials.
- Thank God for the release of Jiang Rong and Li Xiaofeng; pray the other five church members still in detention will now be freed.
- Please continue to pray with our brothers and sisters in Chengdu, for peace, courage and renewed strength. ‘We are thankful for the prayers and watchfulness of Christians everywhere,’ they say.
- Please pray for officials at the Chinese Embassy in London who will soon receive our petition calling on the Chinese Government to repeal its 2018 religious regulations. There is still time to sign the petition here.
- Please stand with us in marking the Day of the Christian Martyr with your church on June 29, by remembering modern-day Christian martyrs, in China and worldwide.
(Source: Early Rain Covenant Church)
Pray for our brother in Pakistan, Zafar Bhatti, who is still waiting for a ruling on his appeal against a blasphemy conviction. The next hearing is scheduled for Wednesday: pray that Zafar will be acquitted. He has spent seven years in jail and has been in poor health.
(Source: Release partners)