At the beginning of 2018, new religious regulations were implemented across China. Though many were uncertain of how strictly the regulations would be enforced, Wang Yi was active in calling for China’s house churches not to comply with the regulations. You can read an extensive interview with Wang Yi and another influential pastor, Gao Zhen, about how the house churches should respond to the new regulations here:
On September 1, 2018, Wang Yi and Early Rain’s leadership released a statement along with many other influential house church pastors regarding their stance toward the new regulations. The statement was signed by hundreds of house church pastors across China, many of whom are also now experiencing persecution. You can read the statement here:
Though Wang Yi had been detained many times during his years of pastoring, he anticipated his eventual arrest and in October 2018, he prepared a personal declaration to be released by Early Rain should he be detained for more than 48 hours. On December 12, Early Rain published this declaration to be shared with not only Chinese readers, but the worldwide church. You can read his statement here:
Wang Yi and Early Rain have been engaged in the church-state question for a long time, reflecting on it earlier than the new religious regulation. He was the leading author of a key document published by Early Rain in 2015. The document is 95 theses on the nature of the church in China and was intended to reflect and celebrate the Chinese house church’s connection to the historic Reformed faith. You can read the theses here:
On December 30, 2019, Pastor Wang Yi was sentenced to 9 years in prison and fined 50,000 RMB. Read the statement from Early Rain Covenant Church on the sentencing of their pastor.