Chinese police detain 100 members of prominent house-church

The Chinese police have detained one of the country's most prominent Protestant pastors along with more than 100 congregation members of his house-church.

Wang Yi, who is the leader of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, was arrested Sunday evening as a service was set to take place.

Church announcements sent to members and passed to press outlets before the detentions stated: "Lord, help us to have the Christian's conscience and courage to resist this 'Orwellian nonsense' with more positive Gospel action and higher praise.

 

"Without love, there is no courage."

While some of members of the church were released on Monday, others have been placed on house arrest, including the assistant deacon Zhang Guoqing.

Christians in the country have routinely been faced with government crackdowns on their faith.

Officially, the People's Republic of China is an atheist country but the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life estimated there are more than 67 million Christians in China.

 

The state only recognises the Protestant 'Three-Self Patriotic Movement' - a government-aligned church based on the principles of "self-governance, self-support, and self-propagation."

Over the past few years, the government has intensified its regulation of religion in China.

In 2016, it introduced new regulation that placed all places of worship under the control of the government, with foreign ties banned.

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