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We have learned that Pastor Wang Yi was sentenced to 9 years in prison for proclaiming the gospel. The following is a translation of the official announcement from the court:
“On December 30, 2019, the Intermediate People’s Court of Chengdu, Sichuan Province, publicly pronounced the following judgment in accordance with the law regarding the case of the defendant Wang Yi for the crimes of ‘inciting to subvert state power’ and ‘illegal business operations’: For the crimes of ‘inciting to subvert state power’ and ‘illegal business operations,’ Wang Yi is sentenced to 9 years in prison; he is deprived of political rights for 3 years; and 50,000 RMB of his personal property shall be seized.”
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matt. 5:11-12)
Praise God for the faithful witness of our brother in Christ, whose reward is now great in heaven. May the Lord use Pastor Wang Yi’s imprisonment to draw many to himself and to bring glory to his name. “For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” (2 Cor. 4:11)
From Pastor Wang Yi:
I hope God uses me, by means of first losing my personal freedom, to tell those who have deprived me of my personal freedom that there is an authority higher than their authority, and that there is a freedom that they cannot restrain, a freedom that fills the church of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.
Regardless of what crime the government charges me with, whatever filth they fling at me, as long as this charge is related to my faith, my writings, my comments, and my teachings, it is merely a lie and temptation of demons. I categorically deny it. I will serve my sentence, but I will not serve the law. I will be executed, but I will not plead guilty.
Those who lock me up will one day be locked up by angels. Those who interrogate me will finally be questioned and judged by Christ. When I think of this, the Lord fills me with a natural compassion and grief toward those who are attempting to and actively imprisoning me. Pray that the Lord would use me, that he would grant me patience and wisdom, that I might take the gospel to them.
Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family – the authorities are capable of doing all of these things. However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life; and no one can raise me from the dead.
Jesus is the Christ, son of the eternal, living God. He died for sinners and rose to life for us. He is my king and the king of the whole earth yesterday, today, and forever. I am his servant, and I am imprisoned because of this. I will resist in meekness those who resist God, and I will joyfully violate all laws that violate God’s laws.
– Pastor Wang Yi, “My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience”
// […] 我渴望上帝使用我，以失去人身自由的方式，来告诉那些让我失去人身自由的人，有一种比他们的权柄更高的权柄存在，也有一种无法被他们关押的自由，充满了耶稣基督死而复活的教会。
– 王怡牧师 《我的声明：信仰上的抗命》
This update comes by means of the Facebook page associated with Early Rain Covenant Church.
Please share and pray for Pastor Wang Yi. Pray for all Chinese believers who are at a high risk of persecution as the Chinese government is cracking down on them and seeking to wipe out Christianity. Our Lord will never abandon them, not for a moment!
Father God, Pastor Wang Yi is suffering for the sake of Christ and for our Lord’s glory. Please fill our brother with your supernatural presence. Comfort him as he picks up this cross and give peace to his heart and mind. When he opens his mouth may Your words flow from him. Give him the courage that whatever may come your Gospel and saving love will be boldly shared. Help Pastor Yi to love his persecutors and prepare them to hear Your Word.
May persecution never weaken our brother’s faith but make him stronger, a mighty warrior for Your Kingdom. We thank you for this precious brother in Christ. We lament for and with him as if he were our own family member and we were in prison with him. Oh Father, if it’s in Your will, we ask for his release. Lord, we lift up his family as they too go through this trial.
We ask for Your hand to be on every Chinese brother and sister as they face this rapid increase of persecution from their government. In the face of fear help them not retract from the faith. May the fire of the Holy Spirit sweep over and consume this nation, and may a greater Church body arise!
We pray for those who are shunning you and hurting your church. They do not realize what they are doing. We pray for their eyes to be opened and their hearts prepared as you reveal Yourself to them. Show them they have no power over You. That You cannot be removed from any place on Your Earth, it is Yours. Your Gospel will be shared exactly as You’ve said and Your light will continue to shine even in the darkest place. We pray that they will accept our Christ and the invitation of salvation. All for Your glory, alone. In Jesus Holy name, we pray.
(Morning Star News) – The pastor of a church on Tanzania’s semi-autonomous Zanzibar Island was preaching earlier this month when a plainclothes police officer and local officials strode into the church service.
“One of the police officers in civilian clothes walked through the church’s door, stepped up to the podium and then grabbed the bishop by the arm,” a church member told Morning Star News. “The bishop pleaded with him to allow him finish the preaching.”
The congregation of the Pentecostal Evangelistic Fellowship of Africa (PEFA) church in Kisauni, near the Zanzibar City airport, was gripped with fear that day (May 6) as the pulpit microphone picked up Bishop Daniel Kwileba Kwiyeya’s plea. The regional and local district commissioners ordered him to stop the worship service as the officer dragged him into a police car, said the church member, unidentified for security reasons.
“Why are you arresting my father without giving us the reasons for his arrest?” the pastor’s daughter cried. “This is very inhumane.”
The local district commissioner slapped her and pushed her into the police vehicle, the source said.
Other church members tried to intervene, in vain. Bishop Kwiyeya and his daughter were taken to the police station in Mazizini. The 160-member congregation went back into their church building and began praying for them.
“No one can take away our faith in Jesus Christ – Jesus is always with us and is ready to help us,” a church elder told them.
Congregation members later went to the police station, where the chief officer told them there were no charges against the pastor and his daughter, and they were released later that day.
The incident followed an order to close the church after Muslim sheikhs from a nearby mosque complained that services on Sundays and weeknights were too loud – though the congregation does not use loudspeakers as the neighboring mosque does.
“We have the right to worship God just like our brothers the Muslims who worship God using loudspeakers, but no one terms their worship a nuisance,” the church member told Morning Star News. “We as the church are of the opinion that the order to close the church is tainted with favoritism and unconstitutional.”
On April 26, the regional and local district commissioners met with Muslim leaders on the church premises – without inviting the church leaders – and discussed the allegations that the church was becoming a nuisance to the community due to loud noise. The regional district commissioner then ordered the church be closed.
The church did not comply with the order since leaders had not been given the opportunity to defend themselves, the source said. The church instead filed an objection with the regional district commissioner.
“The church could have been given a hearing before such radical decision of closing the church was taken,” he said. “This is quite unfair and contrary to the provision of the constitutional rights of freedom of worship of the United Republic of Tanzania.”
Church members say the closure was a calculated move to weaken Christianity and do away with it in Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, he said.
“The worship by the church should be respected as it is guaranteed by the constitution of Tanzania,” the church member said.
Area Muslims did not complain about noise at the church until it completed a worship building with a seating capacity of 500 people in February, he said. Previously church members worshipped in a tent.
In March, authorities closed another church in Zanzibar when police pulled down the temporary structure of 50 iron sheets of the Free Pentecost Church of Tanzania in Kiwengwa, sources said. The congregation has yet to find another worship place.
On Jan. 7, local government officials in Zanzibar Town gave no prior warning to church leaders before a bulldozer arrived and razed the building of Zanzibar Pentecostal Church of Jesus to make way for a state university.
ROME, March 20, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – President Obama’s policies “have become progressively more hostile toward Christian civilization,” said American Cardinal Raymond Burke in an interview published in English exclusively by LifeSiteNews today.
Burke did not mince words in responding to a question about the Catholic reaction to President Obama’s attack on religious freedom, especially through policies such as the controversial HHS mandate.
“He appears to be a totally secularized man who aggressively promotes anti-life and anti-family policies,” said Burke.
“Now he wants to restrict the exercise of the freedom of religion to freedom of worship, that is, he holds that one is free to act according to his conscience within the confines of his place of worship but that, once the person leaves the place of worship, the government can constrain him to act against his rightly-formed conscience, even in the most serious of moral questions.”
The wide-ranging interview, published originally by Polonia Christiana magazine, covers everything from sex-education, in vitro fertilization, abortion, and euthanasia to annulments, politicians who are Catholic in name only, gender ideology, and same-sex “marriage.”
Obama ran his 2008 presidential election campaign on a promise to transform America by what he called “change we can believe in.” Since taking office in 2009, he has done more than any other president to promote contraception, abortion, and homosexuality, what critics say amounts to an outright assault on life, marriage, and family.
Obama declared the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional in 2011, setting the stage for its demise at the Supreme Court in 2013. Now with the HHS mandate in place, American business owners must pay for the contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs of their employees or face crippling fines.
Burke lamented the slide into what he called a “loss of freedom.”
“Such policies would have been unimaginable in the United States even 40 years ago. It is true that many faithful Catholics, with strong and clear leadership from their Bishops and priests, are reacting against the ever-growing religious persecution in the U.S.”
“Sadly, one has the impression that a large part of the population is not fully aware of what is taking place. In a democracy, such a lack of awareness is deadly. It leads to the loss of the freedom which a democratic government exists to protect,” he said.
“It is my hope that more and more of my fellow citizens, as they realize what is happening, will insist on electing leaders who respect the truth of the moral law as it is respected in the founding principles of our nation,” he added.
Find the full interview with Cardinal Burke here.