Written by: Stefan J. Bos
Article source: www.worthynews.com
Their wedding in Chengdu city in China’s Sichuan province was postponed twice as authorities halted the initial May 21 ceremony and then prevented another one on May 24, several sources said.
Christians linked the couple’s troubles to their membership in the evangelical Early Rain Covenant Church, which China’s Communist leadership has not recognized.
Several members and leaders of the congregation were reportedly detained ahead of the wedding ceremonies, according to Christians familiar with the situation.
“The couple had to pick a new venue for their wedding after Chengdu Municipal police canceled their wedding twice,” said the ChinaAid advocacy group, which supports the Christians. “They moved their wedding to May 24, 7:30 PM, but the wedding venue owner had to cancel their reservation because of pressure from the police,” ChinaAid added.
New Wedding Site
However, Christians of the church reportedly helped Zhang Qiang and Xiao Yue find another wedding site in the Wenjiang District of Chengdu.
Pastor Dai Zhichao, who was scheduled to officiate the ceremony, was unable to attend in person due to surveillance from national security officers, Christians said. “The same was true for Elder Li Yingqiang. So the two church leaders joined the couple online for the event instead,” Christians said.
Only a few of the church members could attend because others encountered obstructions from the police, organizers said. One member, Deng Yan, reportedly found a wheel lock placed on her car to prevent her from attending.
However, several congregants able to join the celebration said, “the entire wedding filled with God’s presence and grace.”
In published remarks, Pastor Dai Zhichao told the newlyweds that “Marriage is set by God for the sake of humans’ happiness and God’s glory. It is holy and demonstrates the relationship between our Lord and his wife—Church.”
Following Bible Teaching
He urged the couple to “attend to the teaching from the Bible. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”
The pastor said that while they faced persecution, “they now witness the real, authentic love God has for each of them.”
The couple could have held their wedding as a private event in Communist-run China.
But they insisted on having a Christian marriage, prompting fellow believers to urge prayers for the newlyweds.
Rights groups say devoted Christiana gave growing pressure under Xi Jinping, China’s president since 2013. There are at least nearly 100 million Christians living among China’s 1.4 billion people, according to conservative estimates.
Date published: 19/06/2022
Feature image: Image for illustrative purposes only. Artwork adapted from unsplash.com
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