Following the Chinese Communist Party's December 2018 crackdown on members of the Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) in Chengdu, China, authorities are continuing to persecute Christians across the country.
Back in 2018, hundreds of ERCC members and their leaders were arrested after a massive raid on their church. Since then, Chinese authorities had adopted a high-handed policy towards these Christian minorities.
According to International Christian Concern, ERCC members are often subjected to intense surveillance, harassment, and pressure on their neighbors, as well as threats in the hands of Chinese authorities. This is also very common among those who actively serve in the church and are vocal about the Chinese oppression against them.
Most recently, a new wave of Christian persecution has been carried out by Chinese authorities against Early Rain Covenant Church members.
On October 24, Sunday, ERCC preacher Dai Zhichao, who was detained in August along with 27 other church members but was later released, was visited by unwanted guests at his home. They arrived early in the morning and started banging on his door. He later found his door spray painted with a message in red paint that read, "Pay the debt you own." Glue was also poured into the keyhole of his door. By 10 a.m., the power at his home was cut off. When he inquired about the power outage at the community management office, they said it was due to a tripped circuit breaker.
Dai told Christian Headlines, "Please pray for God to bring us peace and protection. When they hear us worship God during Sunday services, they get angry and come attack us."
The Christian faithful added, "Actually, they are not attacking us but attacking Christ. God, please help us better understand the sweetness of the cross, and that the most powerful force is the gospel. May the Holy Spirit be with us!"
Shortly thereafter on October 28, Chinese authorities raided the home of Su Qiong as she was homeschooling several children of ERCC members. The police had entered the home uninvited and confiscated Christian books and a hanging sign that read, "For God So Love the World." Su, her husband Wang Song, and their innocent eight year old son were beaten before the authorities took her and her husband, as well as one adult to Wuhou District's police station. Their two dogs were also taken away.
ChinaAid reported that other ERCC members have been subjected to increased Christian persecution in the hands of Chinese authorities as of late. For nine months, Chinese authorities shut down power and water to Preacher Lu Xuetao's house as punishment for allowing brother Jia Xuewei to seek shelter and live with Lu's family. Brother Jia has long been at the receiving end of threats from the Chinese authorities, but he remains adamant about staying in Chengdu.
The keyholes to brother Zhu Hong and brother Liang Huali's houses were also jammed. Brother Tang Chunliang and his wife Zheng Chuanjuan were often harassed by Chinese authorities who asked them to move elsewhere. Sister Liu Wei has also been forced to move five times in just two years. Brother Xiao Luobiao was summoned to the Hongpailou police station on October 18 after he was accused of "organizing an evil cult."