Members of Early Rain Covenant Church have vowed to keep fighting despite escalating persecution of Christians in China and the recent sentencing of their pastor, Wang Yi, to nine years in prison.
The 5,000 member church issued an “exhortation and protest” against the severe sentence and expressed hope that God will be glorified throughout the ordeal after Wang was sentenced to prison Dec. 30 on charges of subversion of power and illegal business operations.
“Do you government officials not know that this is a sin against God? Do you not know that this is an abuse of your authority (Rom. 13:3)?” the statement began. “Even so, we do not hate you. On the contrary, our merciful and righteous God wants us to love you and to pray for you.”
“We desire that those public officials and law enforcement officers who are involved in this case would quickly repent and believe in the Lord, that you would know the atonement and forgiveness of sins which the Lord Jesus extends to all through his suffering on the cross, and that you would obtain eternal life and hope.”
The church invited “all sojourners throughout the world who belong to the universal church” to pray for both Wang and church leader Qin Defu, who was sentenced to four years in prison for the charge of illegal business operations.
“Pray for all of us. We will also pray for you,” the church said. “In this eschaton, which Jesus Christ brought about through his incarnation, through his perfect life, through his betrayal and trial, through his substitutionary death, through his resurrection and ascension, through his gift of the Holy Spirit — in this eschaton, may we testify, through our suffering, that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Jn. 14:6) and that he is the light of the world.”
Early Rain Covenant Church was first raided during a Sunday evening service in December 2018 after authorities claimed the church had violated religious regulations because it was not registered with the government. Wang was detained along with his wife, Jiang Rong, and more than 100 members of the congregation.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett