It is important to hear directly from Early Rain’s leaders and members.

Early Rain Covenant Church follows the Presbyterian Church tradition and is governed by a group of elders. The church elects and ordains both teaching and ruling elders to provide spiritual guidance and make major decisions for the church. Deacons in the Presbyterian tradition are elected and ordained by the church to minister to those who are in need, to the sick, to the friendless, and to any who may be in distress. They also care for the physical needs of the church.

You can read an extensive interview with Early Rain leaders and members before the beginning of their persecution here:


All of Early Rain’s elders were detained and arrested by the police. Some have been released and placed under house-arrest. Early Rain’s deacons and assistant deacons were also detained and arrested. Many were detained in the process of checking on other church members.

Many of those who have been detained, particularly church leaders, have young children from whom they have been separated. In situations where both parents have been detained, families from the church have helped to provide care for the children left behind.

Elder Li Yingqiang was detained after evading the police. Before he was detained, he published a handwritten letter to encourage Early Rain to hold firm to their faith and continue public worship. You can read his letter, as well as testimonies from the experiences of Early Rain members in detention, here: