Addendum: Chengdu Early Rain Covenant Church member Shu Qiong details police persecution

Chengdu Security Officers.
(Photo: Flickr)

(Chengdu, Sichuan—Jan. 22, 2021) On January 18, Shu Qiong, a Christian who attends Chengdu Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC), wrote about her experience with local police after officers removed personal Christian study materials from her house with no one home. Police later escorted her, accompanied with her two sons, to their station for questioning.

The open letter Ms. Shu wrote to the mayor detailing police persecution:

A Christian in Chengdu’s Police Station

01/14/2021: Without a legal warrant; with no one home, police illegally entered where I live and confiscated my personal possessions.


01/15/2021: I reported the incident to the police, but they refused to open a case. Next, I wrote a complaint letter to the mayor of Chengdu. Although I did not mail it, the letter circulated online.


01/16/2021: Two police summoned me to their station. Their subpoena did not look valid as no name was listed on the form. While I watched, one officer filled in my name. No reason was listed for the subpoena.


One officer asked, “Did you write a letter to the mayor?”


“Yes, I did,” I said.

“You will please come to the police station with us,” he ordered.

“Will you please wait for me outside?” I asked. As the officers left, I entered my children’s room and prayed. I packed things for my nine-month-old baby and changed my clothes. Outside, I got into the backseat of the police car with my two sons.

Praise the Lord…, I thought as we rode. Instead of sadness and fear, joy and peace filled my heart as my oldest son and I sang hymns as we rode.

When we arrived at the police station, several more security agents approached me. Without warning, I suddenly became defensive and started arguing with them. “Who authorized you to break into my house without a search warrant?” I shouted. “Which article of the law allowed you to do that? If we were in America, I could shoot you if you intruded into my house!” 


“This is not America.” one of them smirked.


 “So—you can do whatever you want to do because this is not America? So—citizens have no rights of privacy and safety in this country? So— …. As I continued my verbal conflict with one of the security agents, I realized I had lost control of my temper. That’s when one of Jesus’ teachings came to mind:


… “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing 
you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, 
but overcome evil with good.


                                                        ~ Romans 12:20-21 (NKJV)

“I’m sorry,” I told the officer as I breathed a prayer. “I shouldn’t have shouted at you. I was too angry.”


 He nodded but appeared a little embarrassed. These policemen and security officers are not as bad as before, I realized. In the past, officials did not allow me to eat nor drink water. This time, when my husband brought me lunch, they allowed me to eat. Afterwards, one of the officers brought me a cup of tea and we resumed our conversation.


Initially, a security officer read three notices to me.


  • Notice of demolition of Jiangxin building (the location of Early Rain Covenant Church).
  • Notice of ban on the legal organization Early Rain Covenant Church.
  • Notice of ban on Early Rain Covenant Church’s illegal administration of non-state-operated school.


When officers began to take notes, I asked for a copy of “Notice of rights.” After reading this aloud, officers recorded my personal information. 


At the end of the police interrogation, the security team leader reiterated: “Early Rain Covenant Church was banned. It is an illegal organization. Didn’t God teach you to submit yourself to the governing authorities?”  


“I submit myself in Jesus Christ,” I said. I came here when you summoned me. This is submitting myself to the authority. Early Rain Covenant Church teaches truth from the Holy Bible, so I will stand firm with my church. I will never leave. You can arrest me if I violated the law. I will submit myself to that, just like our pastor Wang Yi who was illegally sentenced to nine years.” 


 “If you persist, we will have to enforce the law against you,” the officer warned.


 “Do it. I will accept the consequence,” I replied. This ended the conversation. …. 


After the officers left the room, I sat on the sofa and sang hymns to my two boys to help them sleep. While I enjoyed God’s presence, He sent a Christian brother to the room to talk to me. When a security officer agent noticed him, however, and he had to leave, I knew I was not alone. Jesus was with me. Brothers and sisters were with me in spirit. They were praying for me.


After the brother from our church left the room, two young men in their 20s dressed in protective suits, walked out from a metal door and sat on the bench in front of me. 


Neither of them smiled. When my youngest son smiled at one of them, however, he returned the smile. Then the two young men put on their protective eyeglasses and stood up. I asked: “Where are you going? Are you going to the hospital?” I thought they were policemen. Neither of the young men answered me. I said: “The pandemic is so severe now. Be safe. God bless you.” 


This time, the young man who had smiled at my son responded, “Don’t bless me. I am a prisoner.” My heart felt heavy hearing those words.


Policemen then came and handcuffed them. “Jesus is the Savior. Believe in Him,” I said. The young man made a Catholic sign of the cross. This moved me to continue, “Believe in Jesus. Do believe in Jesus. Jesus loves you.” 


I saw tears flow out from behind the eye protection glasses. The young man made another Catholic sign of the cross. When he walked to the door, he put both his palms together and made a deep bow towards me. I burst into tears as I prayed for him. Praise the Lord, I thought. God treats everyone equally. I think God sent me to the police station to spread the Gospel to these two souls. I pray that God chooses them.


Then security officers told me to go home. As I walked out, holding my kids on my arms, joy again filled my heart. “Goodbye. Jesus loves you,” I said to each policeman I saw. 


I thank my God for that day He let me be a Christian in Chengdu’s Police Station. I thank God the blood of Christ saved me. I thank God He gave me eternal life. 


 I am full of joy. 

~ Shu Qiong

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