Beijing Pastor under House Arrest Finally Free

12/27/2020 China (International Christian Concern) – A pastor from a Beijing house church who has been put under house arrest since 2011, finally regained his freedom.

According to the information from Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC), in October, the authorities lifted the surveillance on Pastor Jin Tianming, who founded Shouwang Church in Beijing, which became one of the largest house churches in the area.

Although there has never been a trial indicting Pastor Jin, he was detained when his church started to hold services outdoors at a city plaza following eviction from rented premises. Shouwang Church has been targeted by the government for its refusal to join the state-approved Three Self Church.

Pastor Jin was put under house arrest in his Beijing apartment along with his family. The apartment door was guarded by three shifts of police, 24 hours a day. Although as time went by, the minders began to grant him more freedom (such as allowing him to go downstairs to exercise or buy groceries under supervision), he had to live his life under surveillance.

At the beginning of this year, Shouwang Church decided to halt its outdoor service at Zhongguancun and turned its activities online or shifted to a small group format. However, Beijing continued to clamp down on its rented premises and resulted in the cancellation of rental contracts by their landlords.

Elder Yu Guanhui, on the other hand, still lives under surveillance. It is unclear whether Shouwang’s other pastors are also still being watched by the police.