"But we still regard the worship of God as the most important form of service in our lives, and we are all the more eager to study the Word of God."
The church Early Rain Covenant Church has not been allowed to gather since December 2018. But about two months ago, and after months of gathering virtually online, the Christians of this community in China decided to meet again. But, in a Facebook post, they explain that "the authorities forced them to leave the place they had rented and tried to force them to leave the second place they found".
“Today is Sunday, and our church has planned to hold Sunday worship as usual. But yesterday, the place in the countryside that the church had reserved suddenly called us at 23 p.m. couldn't receive us because of a 'burst water pipe.' They asked us to find another place and told us not to come. We were not surprised by this repression since many of our leaders were under constant police guard and many members were summoned to the police station or warned.Some members and catechumens were also driven from their homes, while others had their locks filled with glue, the water and electricity cut, their flat tires, etc."
“But we still regard the worship of God as the most important form of service in our lives, and we are all the more eager to study the Word of God,” their statement read.
So the Christians decided to meet elsewhere and quickly found a place to meet. But, "A dozen uniformed and plainclothes police officers, along with a few National Security agents, quickly came to the scene and told us to leave immediately." The leaders refused to leave the premises and kept the worship quiet.
"Two plainclothes policemen warned that everyone present could be removed as a result. Everyone remained silent and listened to the sermon, putting themselves in the hands of the God who loves us and letting the enemy do what he wanted to."
The members listened to a sermon given by the pastor Wang Yi in 2012.
"The plainclothes police who were recording the service with their cellphones and the other law enforcement officers who were making official recordings remained silent, and a solemn and joyful atmosphere permeated the venue."
At the end of the service, the Christians could not take their meal together as planned. Four church members, and even a 3-year-old child, were taken to the police station. All were later released.