(Chengdu, Sichuan province) Chinese authorities surveilled or followed elders, coworkers, and congregants of Early Rain Covenant Church for days after the canceled wedding of Zhang Qiang and Xiao Yue. The initial venue was canceled due to police pressure.
Elder Li Yingqiang, Wu Wuqing, Dai Zhichao, and other coworkers were notified explicitly by police that they should not attend the wedding on May 20 and 21; some personnel arrived at Wu Wuqing and Dai Zhichao’s complex to watch them.
On the evening of May 20, Deng Yan, a member of Early Rain, found that police locked the wheels of her personal car. There was no ticket or violation notice left by the police. Firefighters eventually unlocked her two cars. The next morning, she found that four people monitored her home. Empty cans were left on the ground, so she guessed that whoever was there stayed the entire night.
Deng Yan felt peace of mind. What surprised her was that the police made a big fuss over a Christian wedding. Police surveillance left on the afternoon of May 21, after being certain she could not attend the wedding.
The home of Shu Qiong, another congregant of Early Rain, was monitored by police as well. Police escorted her as she delivered food to the hospital today for her ill father, and they continued to watch them at the entrance of her complex after she returned home. Shu Qiong joked that she “enjoyed the treatment of the minister rank today. Security measures were sufficient, and it was very safe.”
Early Rain also disclosed that God opened the heart of Shu Qiong’s father, and he is willing to believe in God.
Authorities regularly visit many elders, deacons, coworkers, and congregants of Early Rain since the crackdown in 2018. They claim to maintain stability by following members during trips or by summoning them to police stations on important days. Early Rain’s recent prayer newsletter shows that authorities have asked some congregants to speak to them recently, requiring that they sign the pledge to decouple the church, but these congregants rejected the unreasonable demand.
~Yu Bing, ChinaAid Special Reporter