Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) Elder Qin Defu, from Chengdu, China has been sentenced to four years in prison on charges of “illegal business operations.” The Chinese Communist court accused Qin of the crime, due to the possession of religious books.
“Pray for Early Rain Covenant Church” shared details about the case on their Facebook page.
“At brother Qin’s trial, we learned that the charge of ‘illegal business operations’ only concerned 20,000 books for the church’s own use (most of these were small gospel tracts like ‘The Good News You Don’t Want to Hear’),” read the post.
They further revealed that another pastor named Wang Yi took responsibility for the said books. As such, they are expecting him to receive an even harsher prison sentence of more than ten years. Furthermore, they stated that the police had previously promised that Qin would be released if he accepted a government-appointed lawyer. Sadly, the promise did not materialize and Qin was sent to prison instead.
According to China Aid, both ERCC Elder Qin Defu and Pastor Wang Yi have been detained for more than ten months on what church members believe to be false charges. Neither their families nor their lawyers have seen them since being arrested.
Pastor Wang, however, was able to write and post a manifesto titled “Meditations on the Religious War.” The manifesto is highly critical of the Communist Party. He says that the government is pushing citizens to worship Chinese President Xi Jinping like a God.
As a result of his incendiary manifesto, his home was ransacked by the police in December 2018.
Pastor Wang also stated that the church will go on even in the face of persecution. China has been known to persecute not just Christians, but also other religious groups such as Muslims and Buddhists.
“Even if we are down to our last five, worship and gatherings will still go on because our faith is real,” the pastor said.
Feature photo courtesy of Bob Fu Facebook Page