11/02/2020 China (International Christian Concern) – On October 26, a member of the heavily persecuted Sichuan church Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) was summoned by the police, for he allegedly participates in a group that had already been revoked of registration.
While the summon letter was sent on October 4, since Dai Zhichao was back to his hometown for a while and he also refused to be summoned on Sunday, the police finally commanded his presence on October 26.
According to China Aid, the interrogation lasted for two hours as Dai was put in a room with no windows. The police asked him why he has to worship, to which he answered, “The public gathering Christians do every Sunday is commanded by and pleasing to the Lord. It also realizes religious freedom, which is guaranteed by the Constitution.”
He added that although the church has been billed as ‘illegal,’ he does not agree. If he has to be imprisoned again for it, this is his glory, and also the Lord’s beautiful will.
Since the police intended to impose or threaten him not to attend ERCC anymore, he said he would not go along with it and instead would remain silent and pray for the police. Surprisingly, the police did not get angry at him and at one point even fell asleep. Dai believes that it was Holy Spirit’s calming power.
His cell phone was however confiscated towards the end due to his refusal to cooperate.
Dai was once detained for three months for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” when ERCC was raided in December 2018. He was put on bail and had to move to Chongqing with his family. He only secretly moved back to Chengdu this past June so he can bear his cross together with his fellow church family.
On the other hand, elder Li Yingqiang, who went through similar fate, was advised to move away from Chengdu temporarily by the leaders of ERCC. Ever since his return with his family in September, both his family and many small group leaders have been monitored, threatened, or summoned.
With a heavy heart, on October 28, he decided to move to Leshan, a city that is 85 miles away. In a letter to his ERCC congregants, he said, “I believe, no matter where we are, our hearts are connected by the Lord’s grace. In prayers, in Bible reading, in worship, every day when we walk our path towards Heaven, we are connected as one body by the Holy Spirit.”
It is unclear whether or not Li and his family will continue to face harassment in Leshan city. Please continue to keep ERCC in your prayers.
For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].