|Wang Yi (right) on a trip to Washington, D.C., in 2006.
(Chengdu, Sichuan—Jan. 17, 2019) Church leaders from around the world have launched a signature campaign in support of imprisoned Chinese Pastor Wang Yi.
Wang was taken into custody on Dec. 9, 2018, along with around 100 other members of Early Rain Covenant Church, which he pastors. For his role in the church, he was charged with “inciting subversion of state power” and “illegal business operations.”
He was secretly tried on Dec. 26, 2019, and sentenced to nine years in prison four days later.
In response, many Christians have rallied around Wang, launching a signature campaign. ChinaAid is one of the signatories.
If you wish to sign, you can do so by visiting this website and filling in the forms at the bottom of the page. Alternatively, you can e-mail your name, church or organization affiliation, and city, state, and country to [email protected].
The letter for the campaign has been printed below.
“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” (Hebrew 13:3)
We are overseas Christians who have received God’s word and dare not ignore the relentless persecution that churches in mainland China have been going through. Now, we have learned that Pastor Wang Yi of Chengdu’s Early Rain Covenant Church was absurdly sentenced to nine years in prison by the government on two framed charges [after] a secret trial and after spending one year in secret custody. We are astounded by it and express to the authorities our serious protests and mercy in the midst of the outrage, because they are the enemy of God’s church and will face God’s last judgement and hell fire if they do not repent. On the other hand, we salute Pastor Wang Yi, his family, and the congregants of the church he shepherds, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21). We have been called with Pastor Wang Yi together and are part of Christ’s body with him, “If one member suffers, all suffer together….” (1 Corinthians 12:26A). We have no choice other than leaning on the Lord’s grace, praying together in one heart, and expressing our determination to stand in solidarity and suffer for the Lord with Pastor Wang Yi, Early Rain Covenant Church, and many house churches that have been persecuted in mainland China, in order to become a beautiful testimony to Christ’s Gospel and in hope that we will be glorified with them in Christ together.
Therefore, we pray vehemently to our heavenly Father in the holy name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Savior:
Merciful and almighty heavenly Father and God, we bless You because You created all things. Your name is great, Your love is everlasting, Your will is never blocked, and Your faithfulness lasts forever. We have an enormous gratitude to You because You didn’t let humans die in sin but granted us Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who was born of the virgin Mary, died on the cross to redeem sinners, rose from the dead on the third day, ascended to heaven, and gave eternal life to all who believe in Him so that they would not perish, when our ancestors committed sins.
Our heavenly Father and God, Who is kind and has redeemed us, we praise You Who granted the Name of All Names to the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is risen, made Him be the head over all things of the Church, and made the Church home to all God’s children, who have been selected by God, redeemed by Christ, and called by the Holy Spirit. Because we have received tremendous grace from You, how can we disobey Your commandments that we should be separate from the world, become the pillar and root of truth in the midst of a crooked and absurd nation, bravely proclaim the Gospel, and establish churches until the Lord Jesus Christ returns?
Holy and righteous heavenly Father and God, we thank You because You allow Chinese churches to face the test, which is like fire and helps Your children be aware of the evil fact that the world is against Christ while also refining God’s church. You make those who sell the Lord to get temporarily glorious lives become visible one-by-one, burn the wood, hay, and stubble, blow away the chaff, and only preserve the 7,000 people who never bowed down to Baal. In the 1950’s, You revived Wang Mingdao, Yuan Xiangchen, Lin Xiangao, and others who were Your faithful stewards until their deaths, so that not all Chinese churches are subject to the Three-Self association, which is under the control of the atheist government. This was the beginning of the precious practice of Chinese house churches in the Christian faith—suffering with the Lord. Likewise, You have revived Wang Yi, Jin Tianming, John Cao, etc., a new generation of missionaries. Protect them under Your guidance so that they can bravely announce that churches do not belong to any country on the earth but to our Savior, Jesus Christ, only, while keeping the spiritual tradition of Chinese house churches. Churches should not be manipulated and controlled by any secular power in their worship, teaching, evangelical mission, or ministry of governance. Rather, churches should be guided by Scripture—God’s Word, which is sovereign. They do not fear the government’s crackdown and intimidation, refuse to put Chinese churches’ ministry under the atheist government’s United Front Work Department [Editor’s note: This is the Chinese government department responsible for managing religion]. They protect the authentic Christian faith with every effort and at any cost, including being arrested by the government on false charges, such as “provoking troubles”, “illegal business operations”, and even “inciting subversion of state power” so that the faith will not change and bear shame because of mixing with Chinese Communist Party’s patriotism and characteristics of socialism. Their “faith is proclaimed in all the world” (Romans 1:8), and [their beliefs] “shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2: 15). They motivate the real churches of the world and stand bravely so that they will not lose courage and be spoiled by the world.
Heavenly Father and God Who is faithful and keeps His promises, we proclaim You because “for those who love God all things work together for good ” (Romans 8:28). We believe that the sufferings Pastor Wang Yi has experienced for the Lord make the Gospel more revitalized. Like what Paul said, “And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained ” (2 Timothy 2:9). The Gospel has been brought to the prison because Pastor Wang Yi is imprisoned, and his sermons and articles have been widely spread throughout the world. Pastor Wang Yi is determined and prepared to be martyred for the Lord, so he is bold to proclaim God’s truth, fearlessly condemns the government’s evil approaches of persecuting God’s churches, seriously points out the void and humans’ sinful nature revealed by worshipping varieties of idols, and calls on sinners (including authorities) to return to Christ’s saving grace, confess, repent, and reconcile with God. This caused him to be able to break through all political taboos and sensitivities under the high-handed autocracy. His sermons, which rouse the deaf and awaken the unhearing, not only motivate and shepherd persecuted Chinese house churches, but also awaken and warn Chinese churches across the world, who have, under their own wishful thinking, been fond of peace for years, so that they will become churches that fight [for persecuted churches] in the world, undertake the Gospel’s mission and their cultural callings, and become a beautiful testimony to the cross on the issues of morality, ethics, social justice, and renovating cultural values.
Supreme Father and God, we ask that Your grace protects and is with all churches that are persecuted for righteousness in mainland China. May the faithful pastors who are locked up and suffering hardships for the Lord be filled with the Holy Spirit. We pray for Your righteousness to manifest, making them able to obtain early releases so that they will bravely proclaim the truth among us as always and serve the Lord faithfully. However, we also pray that Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, walks and stays with Pastor Wang Yi every day while he is in prison, granting him the wisdom and courage which comes from heaven and saving him from all probing and ferociousness, causing him to become even more perfect in the 100 refining fires, not deficient in the least. We also ask you to help us voluntarily suffer, be bound, and remember the sufferings of Pastor Wang Yi and other imprisoned brothers and sisters in our prayers. May the Lord help us imitate their determination and enable us to be prepared and brave and determined, help us not be shaken, and help us to voluntarily suffer for the Lord and boldly give account of ourselves to God when affliction and persecution happens to us. May the Lord grant us the strength because we do this for Your name only and for the purpose that our life can be sustained. May Your grace and mercy not leave us. May You continue to revive more brothers and sisters in churches so that they can be brave enough to stand out. May You revive more missionaries who can bravely imitate Pastors Wang Yi, Jin Tianming, and John Cao and voluntarily to sacrifice themselves, lead the flock of sheep, and suffer for the Lord so that they are empowered to strengthen brothers and sisters in churches who will stand firmly. May You revive more missionaries from house churches in mainland China so that they can bravely stand and make Your glory manifest in China and widely spread the Gospel. We praise and thank You in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!
All pastors and co-workers who are initiators, please pass this along and encourage brothers and sisters in your church to sign it. People living in mainland China will need a VPN. Thank you. In addition, pastors of Faith Chinese North America Baptist Church suggest that this be added before the signature of the first group who co-signed it.
Faith Chinese North America Baptist Church, Canada
The Reformed Presbyterian Church of America, Philadelphia Bible Reformed Church
Lord’s Grace Christian Church, an American Presbyterian church
IIIM Theological Resource Center
Harvest Chinese Christian Church in California, U.S.
Harvest Chinese Christian Church in New York, U.S.
China Ministry International, U.S.
China Ministries International, Canada
China Aid Association/Mid-Cities Community Church
Chinese Gospel Church, Toronto
Chinese Rhenish Church, Taiwan
Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness, California, U.S.
Jubilee Centre for Christian Social Action, Toronto, Canada
Agape International Christian Church, U.S.
Chiau Ai Presbyterian Church, Taoyuan, Taiwan
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