(Church in Chains) — On Dec. 26, the long-awaited trial of Wang Yi, pastor of Early Rain Covenant Church, was held in secret in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province. The trial took place on the 46th birthday of his wife, Jiang Rong.
Wang Yi, 46, has been held in government detention since his arrest in December 2018 along with Jiang Rong and around 150 other church members (most of whom have since been released). Their arrests followed a long campaign of harassment against the church.
The trial was held at the Chengdu Intermediate People’s Court and no family member or church member was allowed to attend or was even advised that the trial would proceed. Wang Yi’s chosen defense lawyer, Zhang Peihong, was removed from the case in November by the authorities and two lawyers were appointed by the government to defend him.
The trial took place amid tight security, with many plainclothes police officers guarding the building. When a church member approached the court building, he was attacked, thrown to the ground, stamped on, and interrogated.