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More than 100 members were arrested during a crackdown on Sichuan’s Autumn Rain Covenant Church in China on 9 December, several detained leaders have since been criminally charged.

Both Pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong have been detained for allegedly inciting subversion of state power, a crime that can result in imprisonment of five years, but up to 15 years in extreme cases. Jiang was issued “residential surveillance at a designated location”, where she could be held for as long as six months in facilities commonly known as secret prisons, subject to torture and abuse.

Elder Li Yingqiang who was responsible for posting updates and prayer requests online for the church, has been detained for allegedly picking a quarrel and inciting trouble on the internet. Additionally, deacon Ge Yingfeng and Lu Jinheng were detained for alleged illegal operations, according to South China Morning Post.

In the meantime, more than 50 seminary students from the church were sent to a “re-education camp”. However, they were released and sent home, accompanied by local officials after praying and worshipping for more than 48 hours under surveillance.

The church’s Facebook page was last updated on 10 December with prayer requests. Due to security concerns, the official prayer request updates are now shared through other social media channels to prevent local police from targeting more members.

In spite of the turmoil, many members continue to gather in homes for their weekly small groups.

Source: International Christian Concern

  • Commit to the Lord, Pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong, Elder Li Yingqiang, Ge Yingfeng and Lu Jinheng and all those undergoing this trial and facing an uncertain future.
  • Thank the Lord for the faithfulness of these believers. Pray their conduct may produce a powerful witness.
  • Ask God to minister to the hearts of the governmental leaders, including President Xi Jinping, so that the country’s Christians can serve their communities peacefully and without constraint.

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