Name: Qin Defu (also known as Qin Derfu)
Country: Sichuan Province, China
Background: Qin Defu’s father was a preacher, and in 1989, Qin adopted Christianity and participated in the Three Self Patriotic Movement for many years before leaving the Movement and focusing instead on the house-church system, becoming a member of Early Rain Covenant Church in 2014. In 2018, Defu closed his family shop and began to work full-time as a church elder for ERCC, alongside Pastor Wang Yi.
Reason for arrest: In April 2018, Qin Defu became a major target for government harassment and surveillance following his visit to Wenchuan County in Sichuan to preach to the community who suffered from a devastating earthquake. Pastor Wang Yi was detained in May 2018 , and the following day Qin Defu was detained by police but released within 24 hours.
In December 2018, police officials ambushed the church and arrested Qin Defu along with 100 or so members of the Early Rain Covenant Church. Defu was transported to a local detention center where he remained until Qingyang District Court in Chengdu conducted a secret trial in November 2019 in which they convicted Defu of “illegal business operations” and sentenced him to a four-year prison sentence.
Current Status as of June 2020:
- LATEST: Since his sentencing in November 2019, Defu has been told that he would be released if he allowed his personally-chosen lawyers to be replaced with lawyers assigned by the government, though he has refused.