Members of the Early Rain Covenant Church have said they were tortured while in custody. Police swooped on the underground congregation last December, detaining upwards of 100 members. Many who have been released say they were tortured by authorities in a bid to get them to incriminate their founding pastor, Wang Yi. Yi, who is a fierce critic of the government is still behind bars. Wang Yi and his wife, Jiang Rong, have since been accused of “inciting subversion of state power,” though Rong has finally been released on bail. Pastor Yi himself has vowed to never plead guilty, even if he suffers torture at the hands of this brutal and shameless government.
The Chinese government continues to oppress any congregation it deems to be unofficial and not in line with state policy. Officials have been known to raid churches, steal donations and tear down any symbols of Christ. As a result, thousands of Christians have been forced underground, and are bravely worshipping the Lord despite being in fear of their lives. Amid threats that his church was going to be torn apart by a relentless onslaught of government agents, Wang Yi openly called on the Chinese President to repent of his sins. In a sermon last year he declared that if “Prseident Xi Jinping does not repent he will perish!”
“When we are not being persecuted, we spread the gospel. And when persecution comes, we continue spreading the gospel,” pastor Yi preached in his stirring message. “If we are talking about a President, we declare he is a sinner. And if we are talking about a general secretary, we still declare that he is a sinner. We believe that we have the responsibility to tell Xi Jinping that he is a sinner!” Yi continued: “The government he is leading has sinned against God, for its persecution of the Church of Jesus Christ, and if he does not repent, he will perish!”
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