Early in the morning on January 14th, Chinese Communist Party officials raided a Chengdu home where Christian children who are apart of the severely persecuted Early Rain Covenant Church were being homeschooled.
A Facebook page called Pray for Early Rain Covenant Church shared that “a large group of police officers, education bureau officials, national security officers, and urban management officers surrounded a home where homeschooled children of Early Rain Covenant Church were playing together.”
The post went on to explain that the home and other members’ homes were being raided.
“Please pray!” they asked of their Western followers, many of whom flooded the comments section with prayers.
The Early Rain Covenant Church and its plants in other cities have been raided on more than one occasion in recent months and a pastor detained for a 15-day “administrative sentence.”
The Christian Post noted that an ERCC church plant in Sichuan province was raided in November and then again in December and Pastor An Yankui was arrested for failing to have a proper license to preach.
In a commentary piece for the Epoch Times recently, Steven W. Mosher explained that, as of February 1st, “new and onerous restrictions on churches, temples, shrines, and all forms of organized religious activity will come into force in China.”
This is a nation that has already been classified by the U.S. State Department as a “country of particular concern” for “continuing to engage in particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”
The new integration of 2019 rules from the Bureau of Religious Affairs, these “Control Measures for Religious Groups” are comprised of “41 articles that deal with every facet of religious life,” Mosher explains.
“Each and every such activity—from weekly services and daily projects, to annual meetings and fundraising—must be reported in advance to the regime’s ‘Religious Affairs’ office for its approval.”
However, before they can even begin to operate as such, religious groups must register with the “Civil Affairs” office of the CCP.
“Without the approval of the Religious Affairs office of the people’s government, or registration with the Civil Affairs office of the people’s government, a religious group cannot carry out any activities,” Article 3 clearly states.
Mosher notes that groups like Falun Gong or Early Rain Covenant Church, however, already deemed “xiejiao” or heretical by the communist regime will “obviously not be allowed to register at all.”
“They will, therefore, continue to be banned under the communist regime,” he said.
Pray for our brothers and sisters who are living under such severe restrictions on their religious liberty at the hands of an immoral state—and for our own nation as it stares down the barrel of the most radically anti-religious liberty administration perhaps ever witnessed in the U.S.
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