|Wang Yi (left) with his wife, Jiang Rong (right)
(Chengdu, Sichuan—May 15, 2020) Authorities in Chengdu, Sichuan, introduced a state-approved pastor to a house church Christian on April 30.
The officials were from the Longquanyi District Religious Affairs Bureau, and they visited the workroom of Liu Hongliang. Liu and his wife attend the often-persecuted Early Rain Covenant Church.
The authorities emphasized that Christians should follow the Regulations on Religious Affairs, a set of measures that serve as guidelines for managing religion in China.
They also introduced a Three-Self Church pastor to Liu. The Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) is a Chinese government-affiliated Christian institution. It is the only legal form of Protestant Christianity in China, and its churches operate under government censorship. As such, many Christians choose to worship in non-TSPM churches, even though they risk legal consequences.
Chinese officials often pressure Christians from churches outside of the TSPM to join a Three-Self Church.
Many members of Early Rain Covenant Church have been persecuted for their faith, including Pastor Wang Yi, who is serving a nine-year prison sentence.