116 Chinese Pastors Sign Joint Statement on the New Religious Regulations

Beijing ancient-1866754.jpg

Editor’s note: On the morning of Saturday, September 1, 2018, one of China’s leading house churches, Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, posted a joint statement on Facebook declaring its stance on the new religious regulations. So far, the document has been signed by 116 church leaders across the country and the call for signatures remains open.

This is an interesting and important document for the ongoing development of the house church’s response to the new regulations, particularly as the church continues to reflect on and articulate its theology of the gospel and the kingdom, rather than resorting to language of liberty and rights. Along with Early Rain’s 95 Theses, documents like this are important for the history of the church in China and should encourage Christians across the globe.


A Joint Statement by Pastors: A Declaration for the Sake of the Christian Faith (2nd edition)

We are a group of Chinese Christians, chosen by the Most High God to be His humble servants, serving as pastors for Christian churches throughout various towns and cities. 

We believe and are obligated to teach the world that the one true and living Triune God is the Creator of the universe, of the world, and of all people. All men should worship God and not any man or thing. We believe and are obligated to teach the world that all men, from national leaders to beggars and prisoners, have sinned. They will die once and then be judged in righteousness. Apart from the grace and redemption of God, all men would eternally perish. We believe and are obligated to teach the world that the crucified and risen Jesus is the only Head of the global church, the sole Savior of all mankind, and the everlasting Ruler and supreme Judge of the universe. To all who repent and believe in Him, God will give eternal life and an eternal Kingdom.  

In September, 2017, the State Council issued the new “Regulations on the Administration of Religious Affairs”and began implementing these regulations in February, 2018.  Ever since then, Christian churches across China have suffered varying degrees of persecution, contempt, and misunderstanding from government departments during public worship and religious practices, including various administrative measures that attempt to alter and distort the Christian faith. Some of these violent actions are unprecedented since the end of the Cultural Revolution. These include demolishing crosses on church buildings, violently removing expressions of faith like crosses and couplets hanging on Christians’ homes, forcing and threatening churches to join religious organizations controlled by the government, forcing churches to hang the national flag or to sing secular songs praising the State and political parties, banning the children of Christians from entering churches and receiving religious education, and depriving churches and believers of the right to gather freely. 

We believe that these unjust actions are an abuse of government power and have led to serious conflicts between political and religious parties in Chinese society. These actions infringe on the human freedoms of religion and conscience and violate the universal rule of law. We are obligated to announce bad news to the authorities and to all of society: God hates all attempts to suppress human souls and all acts of persecution against the Christian church, and he will condemn and judge them with righteous judgment. 

Never miss a story

Sign up to receive our weekly email with our original articles.

But we are even more obligated to proclaim good news to the authorities and to all of society: Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, the Savior and King of mankind, in order to save us sinners was killed, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God, destroying the power of sin and death. In His love and compassion God has prepared forgiveness and salvation for all who are willing to believe in Jesus, including Chinese people. At any time, anyone can repent from any sin, turn to Christ, fear God, obtain eternal life, and bring great blessing from God upon his family and country. 

For the sake of faith and conscience, for the spiritual benefits of the authorities in China and of society as a whole, and ultimately for the glory, holiness, and righteousness of God, we make the following declaration to the Chinese government and to all of society:

1. Christian churches in China believe unconditionally that the Bible is the Word and Revelation of God. It is the source and final authority of all righteousness, ethics, and salvation. If the will of any political party, the laws of any government, or the commands of any man directly violate the teachings of the Bible, harming men’s souls and opposing the gospel proclaimed by the church, we are obligated to obey God rather than men, and we are obligated to teach all members of the church to do the same. 

2. Christian churches in China are eager and determined to walk the path of the cross of Christ and are more than willing to imitate the older generation of saints who suffered and were martyred for their faith. We are willing and obligated under any circumstance to face all government persecution, misunderstanding, and violence with peace, patience, and compassion. For when churches refuse to obey evil laws, it does not stem from any political agenda; it does not stem from resentment or hostility; it stems only from the demands of the gospel and from a love for Chinese society. 

3. Christian churches in China are willing to obey authorities in China whom God has appointed and to respect the government’s authority to govern society and human conduct. We believe and are obligated to teach all believers in the church that the authority of the government is from God and that as long as the government does not overstep the boundaries of secular power laid out in the Bible and does not interfere with or violate anything related to faith or the soul, Christians are obligated to respect the authorities, to pray fervently for their benefit, and to pray earnestly for Chinese society. For the sake of the gospel, we are willing to suffer all external losses brought about by unfair law enforcement. Out of a love for our fellow citizens, we are willing to give up all of our earthly rights. 

4. For this reason, we believe and are obligated to teach all believers that all true churches in China that belong to Christ must hold to the principle of the separation of church and state and must proclaim Christ as the sole head of the church. We declare that in matters of external conduct, churches are willing to accept lawful oversight by civil administration or other government departments as other social organizations do. But under no circumstances will we lead our churches to join a religious organization controlled by the government, to register with the religious administration department, or to accept any kind of affiliation. We also will not accept any “ban” or “fine” imposed on our churches due to our faith. For the sake of the gospel, we are prepared to bear all losses—even the loss of our freedom and our lives. 

Signatories of the Joint Statement (116 people total) 

First Group (29 people): 

Pastor Wang Yi  (Chengdu Early Rain Covenant Church) 

Pastor Yang Hua (Guiyang Living Stone Church)

Pastor Jin Mingri (Beijing Zion Church)

PastorZhang Xiaofeng,Elder Sun Yi,Elder You Guanghui (Beijing Shouwang Church Governance Committee)

Pastor Huang Xiaoning (Guangzhou Bible Reformer Church)

Pastor Dou Shaowen (Zhengzhou Conerstone Church)

Elder Zhang Chuanlei (Guiyang Renai Reformed Church)

Elder Wen Hongbin (Chengdu Xishuipang Reformed Church)

MinisterYang Xibo (Xiamen Xunsiding Church)

MinisterJiang Jianping (Foshan Olive Tree Church)

Elder Xue Honggen (Chengdu Yudu Zhuen Reformed Church)

Elder Char Changping (Chengdu Shengmingzhiquan Church)

MinisterShi Shangbiao (Zhangzhou Feilizhijia Church)

Pastor Li  Tao(Kunming Endian Church)

Pastor Shen Xianfeng (Wuhan Zhongfu Chenxing Church)

Elder Tang Bohu (Shanghai Caihong Reformed Church)

Pastor Cui Quan (Shanghai Wangbang Xuanjiao Church)

Pastor Su Yaorong (Taizhou Tianfu Reformed Church)

MinisterWang Teng (Taizhou  Mingdao Reformed Church)

Pastor Wang Changyi (Tiazhou Tiantai Fuyin Church)

Pastor Ji Jianyang (Tiazhou Xianju Mengen Church)

Pastor Guo Chuanyu (ChangchunLinhezhifu Reformed Church)

Pastor Li Lianmin (Shenzhen Shajing Bible Reformed Church)

Pastor Zhuang Zhiyong (Shenzhen Huaqiang Bible Reformed Church)

Pastor Chen Jingtang (Shengzhen Guifangyuan Bible Reformed Church)

Pastor Huang Lei (Wuhan Shangxiatang Church)

Pastor Zhang Yong(Changchun Yangguangzhijia Reformed Church)

Second Group (87 people): 

Pastor Gao Lijun (Wenzhou Wangkun Church)

Minister Cai Jingliang (Foshan Fangzhou Church)

Minister Xu Jianwei (Hebei Tangshan Church)

Minister Jiangtian (Chengdu Gospel Church)

Minister An Yankui (Taiyuan Xuncheng Reformed Church)

Elder Haoming (Deyang Qiuyu Qingcaodi Church)

Minister Li Zihu (Chengdu Ziuyu Enyue Church)

Minister Cheng Zhangchun (Chengdu Qiuyu Jianan Church)

Minister Cao Qingen (Chengdu Linxishu Reformed Church)

Minister Wang Tianmin (Shamen New Creation Church) 

Elder Wang Zhaorong, Minister Wan Changchun (Bangbu Huoshi Reformed Church)

Pastor Li Jiale (Beijing Daohang Zhijia Church)

Pastor Huang Yizi (Wenzhou Pingyang Fengwo Church)

Pastor Lin Yage (Guiyang Mengen Church)

Pastor Wu Yiqi (Changchun Fuyin Zhiguang Reformed Church)

Minister Gu Hongfei (Beijing Aixuan Church)

Pastor Xu Zhibing (Jiangsu Guanyun Xiansi Duizhong New Church) 

Pastor Peng Qiang (Chengdu Enfu Reformed Gospel Church)

Elder Zheng Zhaobei, Minister Ren Lichuan, Minister Jie Shoutuan (Chengdu Xishuipang Reformed Gospel Church)  

Elder Jiang Guocheng, Elder Peng Yuan (Renshou Enhui Reformed Gospel Church) 

Elder Liu Maolin (Linyi Enyue Reformed Church) 

Elder Yan Xiaoxin (Rizhao Enzhao Reformed Church)   

Elder Huowei (Linyi Enquan Reformed Church)

Elder Chen Shun (Linyi Enyuan Reformed Mission)   

Elder Li Rongtai (Linyi Enlin Reformed Church) 

Minister Yang Binchuan (Zaozhuang Zhuentang Church)   

Pastor Liu Hongwei (Beijing Ganlanshan Church)

Minister Lin Hesheng (Chengdu Fanglin Church)

Minister Liu Zhiyong (Xi’an Jitaicun Cornerstone Church)

Minister Luo Ruisheng (Guangzhou Sui Guizheng Fuyin Tuanqi Huangshen Jiangdian)

Minister Ye Xinde (Fujian Zhangpu Yilin Zhijia Reformed Church) 

Minister Meng Yongguang (Gansu Lanzhou Chenxing Church)

Minister Wang Zisheng (Qingdao Jimiya Church) 

Minister Huang Wenyou (Hong Kong Chinese Christian Church)

Minister Chen Huizhen (Zhangzhou Longhai Shima Xincheng Church) 

Pastor Liu Yang (Xi’an Xinwang Ai Church) 

Minister Sun Chao (Yunnan Qujing Feila Tiefei Church)

Pastor Xu Mei (Xi’an Enquan Church) 

Pastor Dong Zhi (Beijing Hemujia Church) 

Brother Liang Yongen (Dalian Shien Zhen Church)

Pastor Ju Dawei (Xi’an Halleluiah Church) 

Pastor Zhao Yanwei (Zhengzhou Zhongai Church)

Pastor Ren Jinbiao (Hebei Botou Shihong Grace Church) 

Pastor Huang Lei (Hunan Yueyang Shipan Shisheng Jingdu Church) 

Pastor Sun Hong (Jilin Shengyue Zhendao Church) 

Minister Zhu Lehai (Zhangjiajie Hope Christian Church)

Pastor Zhang Qianjin (Beijing, missionary) 

Pastor Gao Quanfu (Xi’an Zhiguang Church) 

Pastor Guo Zhi (Dongguan Reformed gospel Church) 

Minister Chen Shengda (Wenzhou Boteli Church) 

Minister Wang Lanqing (Shandong Linyi Tiancheng Shengyue Church)

Pastor Guo Yijun (Beijing Endao Reformed Baptist Church) 

Minister Xu Fengchuan (Anhui Fuyang Nanzhao Xingqi Faguang Church) 

Minister Huang Wenguang (Shenzhen Jehovah Yile Church) 

Minister Li Jianxuan (Shenzhen Thanksgiving Church)

Minister Yin Xuguang (Beijing Shijing Shanshuguang Church) 

Pastor Zhou Yunfeng (Xianyang Xin Wang Ai Yangwang Church)

Minister Yang Fuli (Shijiazhuang Hongdao Church)

Teacher Cheng Chaohua (Wenzhou Shenzhou Preaching Team) 

Minister Qin Shengjie (Henan Balizhuang Church) 

Teacher Wang Weixin (Wenzhou Yufutang Church)

Pastor Weng Xiangkun (Wenzhou Shenzhou Preaching Team) 

Pastor Huang hanxin (Wenzhou Shenzhou Preaching Team)

Minister Wang Xiao (Henan Dongguocun Church) 

Pastor Zhu Jiahao (Wenzhou Shenzhou Preaching Team) 

Minister Xinyi Chuandao (Datong Lirenzao Church) 

Minister Zhao Lihui (Datong Lirenzao Church)

Pastor Lin Jinlian (Wenzhou Shenzhou Preaching Team) 

Pastor Yan Xiaojie (Wenzhou Shangjiang Church)

Minister Chen Jiafu (Chen Dawei) (Fuzhou Boteli Reformed Church)

Pastor Du Youchang (Jingmen Ganlanshan Church) 

Pastor Wang Yongcheng, Elder Feng Guangxiong (Shen Ai Shi Ren Fengshou Church) 

Pastor Ruan Dawei (Zhanjiang Gengxin Church)

Minister Guan Xinyuan (Jiangsu Liyang Family Church) 

Minister Zhao Ruohan (henan Xihuo Church) 

Minister Sun Chanli (Hubei Shiyan Rongguang Biliya Church)  

Elder Li Youhong (Chengdu Shengming Zhi Quan Church) 

Elder Yan Xixia, Elder Su Bingsen, Elder Li Yingqiang, Elder Tan Defu, Minister Zhang Xudong (Chengdu Early Rain Covenant Church) 

All pastors, elders, and ministers of Chinese churches are welcomed to co-sign the joint statement. Please include your church’s abbreviation. Send emails to earlyraincovenantchurch@gmail.com



















Share This Story

Further Reading

Nanjing: Love Under Pressure
Read More
Why Should I Love My Enemies?: Give Up Revenge, Love Enemies
Read More
Nanjing: Bringing the Gospel Into Life
Read More


With rising pressure and persecution in China, there are two challenges imperative for church leaders. The first challenge is for current leaders to love Christ above all else, and not to stray into legalism or love of the world. The second challenge is to raise up the next generation of leaders, who will humbly model Jesus even if current leaders are arrested.


  1. Current leaders to grow in their daily walks with Christ
  2. Current leaders to shepherd and raise up new leaders
  3. New leaders who love Christ and will model him to the world
  4. New leaders to love and care for the church



About Shenyang

Shenyang is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Liaoning Province. It is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, including the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shenyang is also a hub for China’s heavy industry, with companies such as the China First Automobile Group and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation having their headquarters in the city.


Stories from Shenyang

About Qingdao

Qingdao is a city located in eastern China and is famous for its beaches, beer, and seafood. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Zhanqiao Pier and the Badaguan Scenic Area. Qingdao is also a major port and has a thriving economy, with industries such as electronics, petrochemicals, and machinery.


Stories from Qingdao

About Xiamen

Xiamen is a city located in southeastern China and is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful coastal scenery, including Gulangyu Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is also a hub for China’s high-tech industry, with companies such as Huawei and ZTE having research and development centers in Xiamen.


Stories from Xiamen

About Chongqing

Chongqing is a city located in southwestern China and is a major economic center in the region. The city is known for its spicy cuisine, especially its hot pot dishes, and is also famous for the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. Chongqing is also home to several historic sites, including the Dazu Rock Carvings, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.


Stories from Chongqing

About Nanjing

Nanjing is a city located in eastern China and is the capital of Jiangsu Province. It is one of China’s ancient capitals and has a rich cultural history, including the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the Nanjing City Wall, and the Confucius Temple. Nanjing is also a modern city with a thriving economy and is home to several universities, including Nanjing University and Southeast University.


Stories from Nanjing

About Changchun

Changchun is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Jilin Province. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several historical landmarks such as the Puppet Emperor’s Palace and the Jingyuetan National Forest Park. Changchun is also a hub for China’s automotive industry, with several major automobile manufacturers having their headquarters in the city.


Stories from Changchun

About Guangzhou

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is a city located in southern China and is the capital of Guangdong Province. It is one of the country’s largest and most prosperous cities, serving as a major transportation and trading hub for the region. Guangzhou is renowned for its modern architecture, including the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou Opera House, as well as its Cantonese cuisine, which is famous for its variety and bold flavors. The city also has a rich history, with landmarks such as the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Additionally, Guangzhou hosts the annual Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China.


Stories from Guangzhou

About Kunming

Kunming is a city located in southwest China and is the capital of Yunnan Province. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate, Kunming is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The city is home to several scenic spots, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stone Forest, Dian Lake, and the Western Hills. Kunming is also famous for its unique cuisine, which features a mix of Han, Yi, and Bai ethnic flavors. The city has a rich cultural history, with ancient temples and shrines like the Yuantong Temple and the Golden Temple, and it’s also a hub for Yunnan’s ethnic minority cultures, such as the Yi and Bai peoples.


Stories from Kunming

About Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a city located in southeastern China and is one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolises. The city is renowned for its thriving tech industry, with companies such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI having their headquarters in Shenzhen. The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, art galleries, and parks. Shenzhen is also known for its modern architecture, such as the Ping An Finance Center and the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. Despite its modernization, Shenzhen also has a rich history and cultural heritage, with landmarks such as the Dapeng Fortress and the Chiwan Tin Hau Temple.


Stories from Shenzhen

About Chengdu

Chengdu is a city located in the southwestern region of China, and the capital of Sichuan province. It has a population of over 18 million people, and it is famous for its spicy Sichuan cuisine, laid-back lifestyle, and its cute and cuddly residents – the giant pandas. Chengdu is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where visitors can observe these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. The city also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with numerous temples, museums, and historical sites scattered throughout its boundaries. Chengdu is a city of contrasts, with ancient traditions coexisting alongside modern developments, making it an intriguing and fascinating destination for visitors to China. 


Stories from Chengdu

About Beijing

Beijing is the capital city of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 21 million people. The city has a rich history that spans over 3,000 years, and it has served as the capital of various dynasties throughout China’s history. Beijing is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in China, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. The city is also a hub for political, cultural, and educational activities, with numerous universities and research institutions located within its boundaries. Beijing is renowned for its traditional architecture, rich cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene, making it a must-visit destination for travelers to China.


Stories from Beijing

About Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the eastern coast of China. It is the largest city in China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 24 million people. Shanghai is a global financial hub and a major center for international trade, with a rich history and culture that spans over 1,000 years. The city is famous for its iconic skyline, which features towering skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is also home to a diverse culinary scene, world-class museums and art galleries, and numerous shopping districts. It is a city that is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, making it a fascinating destination for visitors from around the world.


Stories from Shanghai


A short message about partnering with us.