Persecuted Chinese Pastor Issues a ‘Declaration of Faithful Disobedience’

Dec 19, 2018 by

By Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition.

The Story: A persecuted Reformed pastor in China issued a letter explaining the meaning and necessity of faithful disobedience, how it is distinct from political activism or civil disobedience, and how Christians should carry it out.

The Background: Earlier this month Wang Yi; his wife, Jiang Rong; and more than 100 Christians who attend Early Rain Covenant Church were arrested in the city of Chengdu by Chinese authorities. The members of the congregation were charged with “inciting subversion of state power.” According to China Aid, this is a charge often handed to Chinese Christians because the Communist Party views religion as a threat to their ideological control. If convicted, Wang and his parishioners could face up to 15 years in prison. Some of the church leaders and members have since been released but remain under house arrest.

The Chinese government began a renewed and vigorous persecution of Christians earlier this year by destroying crosses, burning Bibles, confiscating religion materials, and closing churches. Chinese law requires Protestant Christians to worship only in congregations registered with the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, a state-sanctioned body for the organization of all Protestant churches in China. But many millions belong to underground “house churches” that defy government restrictions. The term “house church” refers to any unauthorized church, regardless of size or meeting location. Some house churches in China have hundreds or even thousands of members.

In 2005, when he converted to Christianity, Wang was a human-rights lawyer, law professor, and one of the most influential public intellectuals in China. In 2008 he founded and served the Chengdu Early Rain Reformed Church (later renamed the Early Rain Covenant Church), and in 2011 he was appointed to be the senior pastor.

In 2015, Wang and other pastors at Early Rain released a document online entitled “Reaffirming Our Stance on the House Churches: 95 Theses.” As Chloë Starr of Yale Divinity School says, “The document can be seen as a milestone of house church belief, broadcasting its challenge to the state and to the state-registered Protestant church in China.”

Read here

Related Posts


Share This