08/31/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – On August 28, a couple from the heavily persecuted Early Rain Covenant Church in China’s Chengdu were getting ready to be wedded in the afternoon. They were both nervous and excited at the same time. After all, their wedding had been canceled three times thanks to the local authorities’ interference.
But things did not proceed as planned. The police threatened the venue again and forced the venue to cancel their wedding. The newlyweds Zhang Fang and Wang Xianyi, as well as other ERCC members were upset by the cancelation.
According to ERCC, however, in the end, by the grace of God, the two managed to get married at home despite all the challenges in the past. Due to the size of the home, many members could not join and watched livestream instead. Mr. and Mrs. Wang became the fourth couples from ERCC to get married this year.
As a house church that is seen as a “cult” by the local authorities, ERCC members are often subject to harassment and social pressure. From workplace, house rental, school, to business serving them, many have been asked to leave their church or faith or else they face repercussion. ERCC weddings and funerals are often held with the presence of uninvited local police.
Their pastor Wang Yi, a former lawyer and activist, was sentenced to nine years in prison on December 30, 2019 for “subversion against the power of the state” and “running an illegal business.” Wang’s wife and son have been isolated from the rest of the church and closely monitored by the police.
For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: firstname.lastname@example.org.