From the Field Report July 2024

01 July 2024

CHINA: Church Members Harassed on Anniversary of Crackdown

In December 2023, the fifth anniversary of the December 2018 crackdown on Early Rain Covenant Church, government authorities harassed more than a dozen Early Rain church families.

‘Guards’ were stationed outside the homes of some church leaders to prevent them from leaving, and one deacon was detained for 15 days at the Shuangnan Police Station. Church members lost contact with the deacon on 8 December and had no idea what had happened to him.

In addition, one of the church’s pastors, Dai Shichao, was questioned and criminally detained under a charge of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”.

After being warned on 8 December not to go online, Elder Li Yingqiang and his wife were detained for several hours the following day. The elder was again detained and interrogated on 15 and 19 December for his participation in an online event commemorating the anniversary of the 2018 crackdown.

Elder Li distributed a letter on 19 December, requesting prayer as Early Rain Covenant Church continues to face various challenges internally and externally.

 

IRAN: Pastor Faces 10 Years in Prison

On 21 August 2020, while Pastor Anooshavan Avedian was leading a worship service in his home, Iranian security agents interrupted the service and arrested the pastor and two other Christians. The group was meeting in the pastor’s home because Iranian officials had closed their church several years earlier.

Government agents confiscated Bibles and mobile phones before taking Pastor Avedian and the other believers to Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison. The two other Christians were released two days later, but Pastor Avedian was held for twenty-six days and harshly interrogated. On 11 April 2022, an Iranian judge sentenced the pastor to 10 years in prison for engaging in “propaganda contrary to and disturbing the holy religion of Islam”.

Police ordered Pastor Avedian to appear at Evin Prison on 18 September 2023, to begin his 10-year prison sentence. Upon completion of the first sentence, he faces an additional 10-year sentence (not in prison) that deprives him of his ‘social rights’. He had appealed to Iran’s Supreme Court for a retrial, but the appeal was denied. Pastor Avedian is 61 years old and has a wife and two children.

The Iranian government is among the most oppressive in the world, and Christians there face constant threat of imprisonment and false charges for following Christ. Several Christians are currently imprisoned, and many others are under house arrest awaiting sentencing. Pray for Pastor Avedian and others like him who are imprisoned in Iran for their faith.

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    One response to “From the Field Report July 2024”

    1. geoff b says:

      I pray for those wading through ongoing troubles that our gracious God would show His warm mercy in their thick darkeness. More and more we learn of the suffering of the Church worldwide and the sufferings of Jesus’s sheep in many lands at the hands of the Christ haters of this age we pray that The Lord would keep them steadfast in their faith and safe in His hands. Bringing them along with us to that glorious day when we shall fall down before our great Lord and Saviour in endless praise and worship.

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