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This is a reading of Chinese Reformed Pastor Wang Yi's letter, "My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience."
On Sunday December 9, Pastor Wang Yi, senior pastor of Early Rain, his wife, Jiang Rong, and over 100 members of their church were arrested. Many of Early Rain's students, including seminary students, are still in custody.
Wang Yi is one of China's most prominent protestant pastors, a renowned human rights advocate, and a church movement leader. His Early Rain Covenant Church is one of the best known unregistered â€śhouseâ€ť churches in China. Under President Xi Jinping, China's increasing crackdown on religious freedom is escalating especially since a new set of regulations to govern religious affairs came into effect in February 2018 to increase punishments for â€śunofficial churchesâ€ť like Early Rain. This story is being reported in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, AP News, and World Magazine.
Foreseeing this circumstance, Pastor Wang Yi wrote his declaration to be published by his church should he be detained for more than 48 hours. He wrote his first draft on September 21, 2018 and revised it on October 4, 2018. In it he explains the meaning and necessity of faithful disobedience, how it is distinct from political activism or civil disobedience, and how Christians should carry it out. We thank Brent Pinkall and Amy Cheung for their contributions in translating this Chinese letter into English as well as Jeff Kyle from the China Partnership for circulating it.