Early Rain Covenent Church/YouTube

Concern remains for Chinese Christians detained since December

A religious freedom charity says it continues to be concerned over the wellbeing of members of a Chinese church who were detained and then disappeared following a crackdown on their worshipping community in December last year.

11 people are still thought to be in custody including the leaders of Early Rain, Pastor Wang Yi and Jiang Rong.

Over 100 members were arrested in the initial crackdown after being accused of inciting subversion.

 

The church posted a list on Facebook this week of all those who've been detained.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide says there's increasing pressure on house churches in China while state sanctioned churches are being forced to fly the national flag.

CSW's Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: "The continued detention of Pastor Wang Yi, Jiang Rong and other members of Early Rain Church constitutes a grave violation of the right to freedom of religion or belief.

"The charge of inciting subversion is completely unfounded: this is a response to Pastor Wang's peaceful criticism of the authorities' treatment of independent churches.

"We call on the government of China to immediately release all members of Early Rain Church still in detention and all those arbitrarily detained across China, including the one million individuals currently held in Xinjiang.

"We further call on the government to end the harassment of all religious groups in China, ensuring that all Chinese citizens are free to practice their religion or belief. The international community must take every opportunity to raise this with China at the Human Rights Council and elsewhere."

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