By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife
BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife)– The wife and child of the jailed founder of one of China’s largest unregistered churches, are being monitored and intimidated by Chinese security forces, well-informed Christians confirmed to BosNewsLife.
Pastor Wang Yi of the Early Rain Covenant Church is presently serving a nine-year prison sentence for what the government called “subversion of state power”.
“While Pastor Wang’s wife, Jiang Rong, was released on bail, the authorities have barred her from interacting with family, friends, and church members,” said the advocacy group Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC). “She is constantly monitored by security agents and essentially has no freedom of movement.”
Christians said that when Pastor Wang and Jiang were initially arrested, their young son, Joshua Shuya Wang, went to live with his grandparents.
He has been reunited with his mother but is also restricted from interacting with others, according to VOMC, which has closely followed the case. “Each day, he is taken by a police vehicle directly to a public school where he is being indoctrinated. It is believed this government intimidation is a response to Pastor Wang’s refusal to compromise his faith while in prison.”
Since the church’s closure, the property is rented to area businesses without church permission, VOMC told BosNewsLife.
The group said it had appealed for prayers for the troubled family.
Christians have repeatedly linked these and other cases to a broader crackdown under Xi Jinping, China’s authoritarian and atheist leader, who abolished presidential term limits. China’s leadership has expressed concern about the spread of Christianity in China that they view a threat to the country’s Communist system.
Church groups and officials suggest there may be at least 130 million devoted Christians. Many of them worship outside the officially sanctioned churches in this nation of 1.4 billion people.