Here again, while these raids have targeted an underground Protestant church, they show the degree to which all Christians in China are in real danger from the governing authorities. This includes the faithful of the Chinese Orthodox Church, because it is not among the Christian Churches recognized by the Chinese government. This lack of recognition leaves Orthodox Christians in China susceptible to these same kinds of raids, and worse, and they could happen at any time, without any warning.
Accordingly, the Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, renews our call to the Chinese government to grant official recognition to the Chinese Orthodox Church, and full religious freedom to all the Christians of that venerable land.
“Another 60 Christians arrested from Chinese church where 100 were already detained,” by Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post, December 19, 2018:
Another 60 members of the underground Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, were arrested this past Sunday, in an ongoing crackdown against the Protestant congregation.
Police have reportedly been attempting to force churchgoers to pledge to leave the church.
This time, according to World Magazine, the arrests took place at a park where the congregation had decided to meet, due to the church building being shut down in a previous raid earlier in the month when 100 worshipers were detained.
The church members had been praying and reciting part of their Catechism, reading: “What is your only comfort in life and death? That I am not my own but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Several other Christians who met at a separate location in the field of a nearby university were also taken by police.
As ChinaAid noted, the church’s pastor, Wang Yi, has been charged with “inciting subversion of state power.”
Some of the 100 Christian leaders and students who were arrested earlier in December had to leave their children unattended. A prayer letter released by the church after the arrests claimed that at least three believers who were detained by the Communist Party authorities had been tortured.