Several Early Rain members released from detention
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 1/30/19, 01:07 pm
Chinese authorities this week released four Bible study leaders from Early Rain Covenant Church from administrative detention, according to Bob Fu, a Chinese-American pastor and the founder of China Aid. He said the group, released on Monday after 15 days in detention, includes a married couple. “Beautiful smiles since the Lord has done great things through them!” Fu wrote in a Facebook post.
Authorities in Chengdu launched a crackdown on Early Rain on Dec. 9, swarming apartment complexes, ransacking homes, and forcing members to sign a document renouncing the church. Officials have detained more than 100 members, including lead Pastor Wang Yi. Several people have been released, but a church prayer letter on Thursday said the persecution is ongoing, with more arrests and detentions, according to China Aid. Church members reported officials questioned and threatened them, asking about Wang’s financial situation. “The purpose is to accuse him,” the police said, according to members who were questioned. “Regarding you all, your life depends on whether you cooperate with us. If you cooperate with us, you will reunite with family before the Spring Festival and nothing will happen to you.”
Police have also questioned other Christians across the country who bought books or recorded sermons from Early Rain via the social media platform WeChat.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.