(Chengdu, Sichuan province) Since Sunday service on February 12, seven to eight community workers gathered at preacher Dai Zhichao’s apartment. They guarded the entrance to his building, stopping him from attending Early Rain’s Sunday service. Dai decided to worship online.
Evangelism to police officers
At around 10 am on February 12, as Dai watched his church share Holy Communion, two police officers suddenly pounded on his door. They said they wanted to speak with him. He opened the door and invited them to watch with him.
Preacher Dai reminded them to use their power with caution and not to continue to persecute Christian churches. He explained to the officers the meaning of communion. “This is God’s body, and this is God’s blood”. He also shared the Gospel with them. They left peacefully ten minutes later.
On February 18 at 10 pm, Early Rain Covenant Church sent out a prayer request letter, urging fellow Christians to pray for preacher Dai Zhichao.
He was able to go out as usual during the week. However, on the morning of February 18, those people came back again. At around 8 pm, police officers came and set up portable beds inside the apartment unit. They resumed 24-hour surveillance. Nobody is sure how long it will last.
History of harassment
In recent years, preacher Dai Zhichao’s family was frequently monitored. Police and community workers harassed and confined Dai because he served Early Rain Covenant Church. Authorities installed surveillance cameras in front of his door. The apartment management office and security guards must report to the police when the family leaves.
They escalated surveillance and home confinement before the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th National Congress. On September 28, 2022, several people showed up in front of his home. They prohibited him from leaving, even going outside to throw away the trash. With multiple shifts, guards kept 24-hour surveillance. They stopped Dai Zhichao whenever he wanted to leave his home.
On October 26, all the guards left. Preacher Dai posted on his WeChat Moments:
Thank you, Lord. My home confinement ended today. It’s been almost 1 month. I feel like being released from prison. There were moments of fear, frustration, and disappointment, but I know I have to rely on God. When the hardship deepens, my prayers also deepen. In my prayers, I saw how the country’s desperate need for mercy and the gospel.”
However, officers came back the next day at 7 AM and stayed there all day. National security agents told Dai that he would be under long-term home confinement.
Photo: Dai Zhichao with his family (ChinaAid source)
Prayer letter from Early Rain
In the most recent prayer letter, Early Rain Covenant Church made some points of emphasis:
- For God to take care of preacher Dai Zhichao’s family and give them the strength to serve the Lord. His family made beautiful testimonies during the past few years of persecution. They testified about God’s resurrection through their joy and perseverance during the persecution.
- Please pray for God to continue to show grace to his wife and two young children so that his family is immersed in God’s love even during the persecution.
- Pray God to protect Early Rain Covenant Church’s co-workers and members to continue to bear the cross, share the gospel, walk with imprisoned pastor Wang Yi, as though in prison with him, and be the light and salt of this dark era.
~Yu Bing, ChinaAid Special Reporter