A preacher in China's Sichuan province is asking for prayers as his family continues to face persecution from communist authorities - even while they're at home.
Dai Zhichao, a member of Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC), was awakened to the sound of someone beating on his door last Sunday, China Aid reports. When he got up to see what the commotion was, Dai discovered the words "Pay Your Debt" written on the door.
The keyhole to the house was filled with glue and the family's power had reportedly been disconnected. When Dai called the community management office, he was told that the power was out due to an issue with the circuit breaker.
His electricity was finally restored seven hours later.
Police had detained Dai and his family the previous week for more than 10 hours, according to China Aid.
The preacher shared details of the ongoing harassment during a church gathering saying, "We were scared. We were just able to open the door. When we watched outside through the peephole in the morning, we noticed those people seemed to live next door."
He continued, "Please pray for God's help and peace during the tribulation. When they vandalized our door in the morning, I suspected they were painting 'pay your debt'. It was actually those words when I opened the door to look. Thank you, God. We were really nervous. Now we can better understand the feeling of those who were bullied but unable to appeal for help.
"Thankfully we have God, or else we would be really angry. Thank you for your prayers and love. It's back in peace for now. Please pray for God to bring us peace and protection. When they hear us worship God during Sunday services, they get angry and come attack us. Actually, they are not attacking us, but attacking Christ. God, please help us better understand the sweetness of the Cross, and that the most powerful force is the Gospel. May the Holy Spirit be with us!"
As CBN News has reported, Dai was victimized in August during a Sunday worship service at ERCC in Chengdu when police illegally raided a group meeting.
The police claimed to have received a call reporting an illegal gathering there, according to a Facebook post.
"Pastoral intern Dai Zhichao asked the police to present a search warrant. The police were rough and wanted to check people's ID cards. Dai Zhichao's arm was scratched and his cell phone was taken away."
Dai was held in detention for 14 days before he was finally released.
Over the past few years, China's communist regime has ramped up its extreme measures to crack down on religious groups in China.
Pastor Wang Yi, who led ERCC, was taken into custody in December of 2018 after his home was raided and ransacked by police.
The prominent pastor was sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of "inciting subversion of state power" and "illegal business operations."
Also, ERCC Elder QinDefu was sentenced in Nov. 2019 to four years in prison by a court in Chengdu. He was charged with "illegal business operations" for having books for the church.
"The latest raid against ERCC, though nothing novel, shows a worrying trend that house churches are frequently subjected to harassment like this in the name of 'law enforcement,' where legally flawed Revised Regulations on Religious Affairs have been employed by Beijing to crackdown on house churches around the country," said Gina Goh, ICC's Regional Manager for Southeast Asia.
"The Chinese Communist Party's constant fear of unregistered churches is both pathetic and preposterous, as it underscores President Xi's insecurity toward any critical mass. There is absolutely no regard for religious freedom," Goh added.
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