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Early Rain church elder bailed after eight months in Chinese jail, Pastor Wang Yi remains locked up

27 August 2019

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Church elder Li Yingqiang, who was arrested with more than 100 members of Early Rain Covenant Church in south-west China, was released on bail on 17 August after spending eight months in jail.

Li Yingqiang was bailed pending trial, the church reported on Facebook. It also said that on 9 August a female church member, Li Chengju, held in criminal detention for more than a month has now returned home.

Early Rain Covenant Church elder Li Yingqiang, pictured here with his family, has been bailed pending trial

Li Yingqiang was sent back to his hometown in Hubei province, where he was reunited with his wife and children.

“Even though he [Li Yingqiang ] lost a lot of weight and experienced many trials, we are still thankful to God for protecting him and his family and giving them faith, love, and joy in Christ,” the church said in our Facebook post.

Pastor Wang Yi and two other members of the congregation remain in jail. The pastor was among about 100 members of the church in Chengdu, Sichuan province, that were arrested on 9 December 2018.

Pastor Wang Yi faces a charge of incitement to “subvert state power” and Zhang Peihong, a lawyer appointed by the pastor, said on 8 August that he now faced a second charge of “running illegal business operations”.

Zhang and another lawyer have been “disregarded ” from the case by the authorities, who have said they will appoint their own “Christian” lawyers to represent the detained pastor.

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