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06/22/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – Concerns over the health of the imprisoned pastor of the banned Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) are growing. Pastor Wang Yi has been in police custody since December 14, 2018.

Wang Yi, the pastor and founder of ERCC, was detained by the police in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, the southwestern Chinese province where ERCC is located. He was arrested alongside dozens of members of his church on suspicion of “incitement to subvert state power.”

Pastor Wang was found guilty of this charge by the Chengdu Intermediate People’s Court. In December of 2019, he was sentenced to nine years in jail. In addition, authorities placed his family and the other members of his church who were detained under house arrest.

Pastor Wang’s imprisonment followed his publication of an essay criticizing the government’s control over religion. The paper encouraged Chinese Christians to peacefully disobey the new rules the Chinese Communist Party recently implemented on the activities of religious organizations.

According to Bob Fu, the president and founder of Christian rights group China Aid, “It looks as if Pastor Wang Yi is being treated very badly in prison right now.” He added, “It now appears that the state security police have been lying to Wang Yi’s family and the church,” he said. “Pastor Wang Yi is being kept in solitary confinement in [Chengdu’s] Jintang Prison, with two other prisoners guarding him.”

Mr. Fu described how authorities have prevented family members and lawyers from visiting Pastor Wang since he was imprisoned. In addition, it appears that medical treatment is being withheld from him and he is being fed inadequate food, such as moldy rice. He stated that the authorities possibly are trying to destroy Wang’s health. Please continue to keep Pastor Wang and his family in your prayer.

For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: [email protected].