Authorities arrest preacher of house church for officiating funeral in China
Communist authorities arrested a preacher from the heavily-persecuted house church in southwestern China’s Sichuan province, Early Rain Covenant Church, for “allegedly disturbing public order” by officiating a member’s funeral.
Preacher Wu Wuqing was arrested by officers from Damian Police Station in Chengdu city’s Longquanyi District on Friday afternoon, hours after the funeral service, the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reported, saying it learned about the arrest from ERCC’s prayer request.
Authorities have shut down utilities at Wu’s home many times, and Chengdu police have threatened that if he continues to serve at ERCC, they will intensify their crackdown and monitoring of his movements, ICC reports.
Over two years ago, authorities shuttered the 5,000-member church, broke down the doors of church members’ and leaders’ homes, and arrested more than one hundred people. Police continue to harass and track ERCC members today, according to a recent report from China Aid.
According to recently-released reports, religious persecution in China intensified in 2020, with thousands of Christians affected by church closures and other human rights abuses.