Early Rain Covenant Church Member Escaped to Taiwan: 'No Long Safe' for Christians in China


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by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - More information has surfaced regarding the lockup of 100 members of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, in December.

49-year-old Liao Qiang, his 23-year-old daughter, and four other family members escaped to Taiwan last week, where they were interviewed at a Presbyterian church service in Tapei about the conditions that led to and followed their initial arrests on December 9 and 10.

“I knew it was no longer safe for us [in China], and that my children were most in danger,” Liao told The Associated Press, saying his daughter had had to notify Chinese officials of her location through social media whenever she left the house in the months following their arrest, while he himself was asked to sign a confession renouncing his faith and involvement in the church.

“If our elders decided to break up the church, then I can accept it. But it’s not up to [the government] to say it’s evil or illegal,” he told reporters.

Liao’s words echoed those of his pastor, Wang Yi, whose open letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping was released by members of Early Rain Covenant church after he was taken into custody in December.

“In the modern totalitarian state that persecutes the church and resists the gospel, the disobedience of faith is an inevitable part of the gospel movement,” Yi had written in the letter originally penned in September with directions to church members to publish it in case of his disappearance.

Wang Yi’s wife, Jiang Rong was released on bail last month, but the fate of the rest of Early Covenant Church is still relatively unknown.

Liao Qiang and his family await a request for asylum in the US, and are receiving legal counsel from the Taiwan Association for China Human Rights, who hope to make the case to the Taiwanese government that the plight of the family constitutes a humanitarian case of religious persecution.

The case will have to be made expeditiously, as the family only has a 15-day tourist visa.

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4 thoughts on “Early Rain Covenant Church Member Escaped to Taiwan: 'No Long Safe' for Christians in China”

  1. Okay. There are some serious questions as to whether the people who are members of this group may even be called Christians. Though the head of this denomination, a sub group of Prebyterianism. Though in my whole life of studying (and researching) religions throughout the world, past and present, I've never met any Presbies like this group.

    To begin, here's a list of quotes, taken directly from this Early Rain Covenant Church's website. See if any of it is common knowledge to you.

    Page title, "Wang Yi's Theology of Suffering and Persecution" where I discovered the name of Jesus only four times. On the home page for the "Early Rain Covenant Church" the name of Jesus is found only once.

    "The Church is the real Beijing."

    "But the gospel tells us the church is the biggest city in the world. The church is the real “Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.” The church is the capital of human souls. The gospel made a group of apostles from the backward province of Galilee into the center of the new world"

    "Wang Yi believes deeply in the Christian’s call to suffer as part of his or her union with Christ."

    "At the beginning of 2018, new religious regulations were implemented across China. Though many were uncertain of how strictly the regulations would be enforced, Wang Yi was active in calling for China’s house churches not to comply with the regulations."

    It's not surprising they were arrested. They literally asked for it. That said, there may be Christians among it's members. One thing this Wang Yi does do, which is interesting, is he uses the term "Galileans" for those who recieved the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. That is a rarely used, but correct, term which the Romans made up for Christ's followers of that time.

    More likely, this is a cult. It sure sounds like one from their own website! Pray for them, sure. It would appear from the timeline of Wang Yi's own disclosure that he was installed as "church" leader much too early (by Presbyterian's). He was baptized and installed as a leader during the same year! Intelligence is needed but it too often goes the same way as too many riches.

    What they really sound like is the usual problem that arises with people claiming to be persecuted Christians in China, masochists.

    Jesus took our sins. He bore our punishment. He is (certainly) with us in trials and tribulations. But we are not called to create our own sufferings, and to disrupt our own families unnecessarily.

    It is not apparent on their website that these people even know the person of Jesus Christ (by whatever name it is in Chinese).

  2. Many, many, of our Christian brethren, (real ones or not) too often rush to be persecuted for their churches.

    No "church" bled and died to save your soul, my soul, or anyone else's. Though in the sheer numbers of those rushing to be tortured and killed, it very much is likely whole churches in China now have literally died.

    I can not stress enough how important it is for we Christians, Galileans, Messianics, Netzarim, all who live and breathe and have their being "in Christ" to remain "in Messiah."

    Not in "church." This Wang Yi began his group as a "fellowship" and them quickly slid right on off into all his "church" stuff. In his defense, the timeline outlined on their own website shows he was raised up into headship of this entirely new (Chinese) denomination way too early. But that's all I can say in the light of what's written on their site.

  3. Holy scripture clearly states all who desire to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will suffer. Fear of following Jesus might be why so many people are walking after covetous idols today. God bless the true Israel of God in Christ.
    Amen

    • We all will, and most of us, who have lived decades walking with Jesus (Y'shua) have suffered great things. That's not the same as going around asking to suffer. It is only suffering for righteousness sake, (not because our own stupidity, sins, such as false humility) which can not be avoided. And yet, some of even that can be simply avoided, by asking "our Father" to "lead us not into temptation." And also by constantly seeking God's wisdom before we act.

      There is no glory in us rushing into incarcerations, or torture. Yet, God is Faithful even when we do that (as our Chinese brethren testify).

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