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Wang Yi – Imprisoned for Christ

Pastor Wang Yi (pictured above with his wife Jiang Rong) has been the leader of an influential, faithful Bible teaching church in the city of Chengdu, in China’s Sichuan province. He is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence.

In December 2018 Wang Yi and around 100 members of the Early Rain Covenant Church were arrested in a raid by police.

He was subsequently charged with ‘inciting subversion of state power’ and ‘illegal business operations’. In December 2019 he was sentenced.

As well as leading a robust, Biblical church Wang Yi had been vocal in calling on the Chinese state to uphold religious liberties. His church, which had already been under pressure from the authorities, was closed and although most of the church members were later released from custody many remain under various levels of surveillance – including Wang Yi’s wife, Jiang Rong. Some have been banned from Chengdu.

Release International partners say the Early Rain church may have been targeted because of its open approach to church mission, street evangelism and its general influence. The church also ran a Bible school.

In 2018 Pastor Wang Yi wrote a declaration, signed by hundreds of Chinese pastors, which included a statement of Christian belief and a call for the end of persecution. It also recognized the authority of the Chinese government.

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