The Linfen Covenant House Church has experienced ongoing legal challenges, many of which arose after police officers raided a family camp in August. Two preachers from the church were arrested for alleged fraud and, more recently, two other church workers were suddenly detained without notice.
On 16 November, the Linfen City Yaodu District Bureau of Civil Affairs officially announced on their website that the church has been shut down, along with the Asilan School, which was run by the church.
The announcement further stated that the church and school were not registered with the government and thus all their activities were considered illegal.
On 23 November, lawyers met with two of the detained church workers, Wang Qiang and Wu Tingting. While Wang has undergone torture by the authorities, in their attempt to extract a confession, the Christian refused to relent. The next day, as the city was put under another COVID lockdown, the representing lawyers have been prohibited from conducting any further meetings with the two believers.
In the midst of this ongoing persecution, the testimony expressed by a member of the church is that of joy. During a recent raid, a police officer asked her, “When did you start loving the Lord passionately?” This Christian sister answered: “I only began to love the Lord passionately after you arrested me. When the shackles wore out my feet, I realised a little bit how much Christ had paid for me.”
Sources: ChinaAid, Church in Chains
Praise God for the testimonies of joy and gratitude that have been expressed by members of the Linfen church during this time of difficulty.
Pray for wisdom and guidance regarding their legal situation, and how to best proceed in ministry, may they continue to sense His reassuring presence every step along the way.
Pray for the encouragement of churches throughout China that are likewise being subjected to pressure due to the increased crackdowns mandated by the Chinese Communist Party.