Photo: Li Benli, an Early Rain member, evicted by police (ChinaAid source)
(Chengdu, China—March 17, 2023) Police evicted Li Benli, a member of Early Rain Covenant Church before his lease ended. Li’s landlord threatened him to move out on March 12, after police violently raided Early Rain’s Sunday service.
On March 15, police with the landlord and the landlord’s younger brother compelled Li Benli to move out immediately. The landlord said that he was willing to pay the breach penalty, and Li Benli said that he just wanted to rent the place per the lease instead of taking the penalty.
An Early Rain congregant called the police station who left quickly after seeing the situation. In the report, the police wrote that the landlord did not want to rent out Li Benli’s unit. In reality, the reason the congregant called the police was that the landlord threw out Li’s belongings.
Unfortunately, this is a common practice for Chinese police to terminate a lease before its end. Many members of Early Rain had similar experiences with their leases since the 129 crackdowns four years ago. Meanwhile, other Christians across the country refuse to join the government-controlled Three-Self Church, and the landlord is often mobilized first for harassment.
~Yu Bing, ChinaAid Contributing Reporter