torsdag 26. desember 2019

For China’s underground churches, this was no easy Christmas

Li Chengju glared at her prison interrogator as he pressed her to renounce her Christian church and condemn her pastor.  Her captor warned she would not be so lucky as the pastor, who was locked in secret detention but at least might get a day in court.  “Look at you. You sweep the floors at church,” the interrogator said. “You think you’re getting a trial like your pastor? You don’t qualify.”

Li still refused to sign the document disowning her church. “I’m a citizen who has faith,” she told the interrogator. “God knows everything you are doing and he will judge you one day.” Then she repeated a saying she’d heard at church about the Chinese president: “Xi Jinping is sinning against God. If he doesn’t repent, he will be judged by God.”

Li, who recounted her detention in a recent interview with The Times, belonged to the Early Rain Covenant Church, which authorities here in Chengdu dissolved late last year as part of a sweeping campaign by the government to rein in the country’s fastest-growing religion: Protestant Christianity.