Home News Police in China raid Early Rain Covenant Church, 60 members held briefly

Police in China raid Early Rain Covenant Church, 60 members held briefly

The Chengdu-based house church was holding its in-person service at a tea shop when more than 20 police officers raided the venue

Police in China raided an Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) house church in Chengdu and briefly held at least 60 members on Sunday, August 14.

The Christian rights group International Christian Concern reported on Tuesday, August 16, that the church members were released after they were forced to provide their identification.

One member who refused to cooperate was reported detained and later charged with assaulting police.



The report said the Chengdu-based house church was holding its in-person service at a tea shop when more than 20 police officers from Wuhou district in uniform and plainclothes raided the venue.

The police announced that the ERCC was disbanded and the gathering was illegal. They locked the doors and refused to let members leave until they supplied identification.

One member identified as Xing Hongwei, who refused to give his personal information, was arrested, handcuffed, and led away along with his wife, Zhao Qing.

In a statement, ERCC said the “criminal detention” of Xing is “a persecution of faith by the authorities.”

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“This type of clampdown is coherent and ongoing. The police should stop persecuting and repressing our church, treating our members as second-class citizens as if we were in the Cultural Revolution era, because God’s judgement is real.”

“China’s ongoing crackdown against ERCC is the prime example of how Beijing continues to disregard religious freedom for its people even if the Constitution guarantees this right,” said Gina Goh, International Christian Concern’s (ICC) regional manager for Southeast Asia.

“Since the incarceration of ERCC Pastor Wang Yi and elder Qing Derfu in 2018, the government has not ceased its harassment and persecution of the house church,” said Goh.

She alleged that the Chinese government’s goal is “to see all house churches go extinct so they can fully control Christianity in China.”

The Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, Sichuan, first began meeting as several small groups in 2006 and became an independent church in 2008 with 63 members.

In July 2011, the church elected and installed Pastor Wang Yi as its pastor.

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