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China: Police raid heavily persecuted Early Rain Covenant Church

by Tola Mbakwe
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Facebook/ @prayforearlyrain

Police in China have raided Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) once again. 

According to Christian persecution watchdog International Christian Concern (ICC), the most recent invasion happened during a church service at a tea shop on 14th August. 

More than 20 police officers in Wuhou district invaded the building, announced that the church's gathering was illegal and said they had to leave.

Police released 60 church members after forcing them to show identification. One member, Xing Hongwei, refused to do so. He was arrested and taken away, along with his wife, Zhao Qing.  She later said he was charged with assaulting police.

Gina Goh, ICC's regional manager for Southeast Asia said: "China's ongoing crackdown against ERCC is the prime example of how Beijing continues to disregard religious freedom for it's people even if the Constitution guarantees this right.

"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. The government's goal is to see all house churches go extinct so they can fully control Christianity in China."
 
ERCC members said Hongwei is "a gentle spirit who is committed to charity and education and has translated multiple books on missionaries". 

In 2019 he was detained for ten days after protesting against the police beating of ERCC Pastor Wang Yi's mother.

ERCC said in a statement, "The criminal detention of brother Xing is a persecution of faith by the authorities. It is an extension of the 2019 crackdown and oppression against ERCC. 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." 

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