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10/04/2022 China (International Christian Concern) – Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) is a house church in China whose members have faced substantial persecution from the Chinese government over the last few years.  

On Friday, September 30, several Christians belonging to ERCC received eviction notices. Without providing an explanation, their landlord told them that they needed to move out as soon as possible.  

As soon as Shu Qiong and her husband received the phone call, they asked their landlord if he was being threatened by the government to force them out. He denied it and offered to refund their breach penalty and rent.  

Suspecting that the landlord was lying to her, Shu said, “You are also under pressure in this matter, for which I am very sorry. I only ask God to remember your grievances. I can understand the pressure you are under. It would indeed be quite tempting if I could take your breach of contract and find another house and sign a high one, as if not only would it be no loss to me, but I would easily be able to make some money. But I am a Christian, and although I am poor, so poor that I need to rent a house and be driven around, I still know that it is not pleasing to God to covet unjust money in this way.”   

Shu and her husband ultimately refused to move out, stating that they would move out when the lease was up since they had not broken any laws. She said that she and her husband would face the legal consequences of this decision if they needed to.  

“China’s ongoing crackdown against ERCC is the prime example of how Beijing continues to disregard religious freedom for its people even if the Constitution guarantees this right,” said Gina Goh, International Christian Concern’s (ICC) Regional Manager for Southeast Asia. “Since the incarceration of ERCC Pastor Wang Yi and elder Qing Derfu in 2018, the government has not ceased its harassment and persecution of the house church. The government’s goal is to see all house churches go extinct so they can fully control Christianity in China.” 

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