Pastor Wang Yi is a former attorney who represented persecuted churches in China, advocating for religious freedom and freedom of conscience. He started a Bible study in his home in 2004, which later became the Early Rain Fellowship. He was baptized in 2005 and became the leader of the fellowship. He was part of a delegation that represented the persecuted church to meet with President George W. Bush in the White House in 2006.
Wang Yi received a call into full-time ministry in 2008, was elected and installed as a ruling elder in 2009, and in 2011 Wang Yi was examined by a committee of ordained Presbyterian pastors, and ordained in the Fall of 2011 at which time he was also installed as the lead pastor of Early Rain. He is a prolific writer and poet, with great zeal to increase theological reflection and writing among China’s house church pastors. His writings and sermons have been widely shared online in China.
Wang Yi is married to Jiang Rong. They have a son, age 12.
Wang Yi and Jiang Rong were arrested on December 10, 2018, and remain in criminal detention. No one has been able to communicate with either of them since their arrest. Their son has been kept, along with his grandmother, in isolated house arrest. He has only been allowed outside of his grandmother’s small apartment two times since December.
You can read Wang Yi and Jiang Rong’s last family newsletter, written and sent shortly before their arrests:
Wang Yi’s Theology of the Church and City
Wang Yi’s theology does not focus on the church-state question alone. He has spent significant time reflecting on the nature of the church and eschatology of the city. A good example of his theology on the topic can be found in his series “The City of God on Earth”:
Wang Yi’s Theology of Suffering and Persecution
Wang Yi believes deeply in the Christian’s call to suffer as part of his or her union with Christ. He teaches that all believers are called to the life of the cross and was intentional in preparing his congregation for the suffering he believed to be eventual in every Christian’s life. You can read some key articles on the topic of suffering and persecution here: