Pastor Wang Yi

Name: Wang Yi

Country of Origin: China

Background: Pastor Wang Yi is the leader of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. Prior to his conversion to Christianity, Wang Yi was a lawyer and law professor.

Reason for Arrest:

On December 9, 2018, Pastor Wang Yi was detained during one of the largest coordinated crackdowns on Christianity in China; Over 100 other members of Early Rain Covenant Church were also imprisoned.

Pastor Wang Yi was charged with “inciting subversion of state power” and “illegal business operations” for his devout leadership of an unregistered religious organization and repeated advocate for the separation of Church and State in China. He was sentenced to nine years in prison on 30 December 2019.

Latest Updates:

  • November 2021: It was reported that nearly three years after Pastor Wang’s arrest, his wife was recently permitted to visit him in prison. She reported that he is healthy but underweight.
  • 18 June 2021: It was reported that Pastor Wang Yi has been treated terribly in detention, having been restrained to solitary confinement, denied medical care, restricted access to legal counsel and family visits, and fed moldy rice.
  • In May 2020 Wang Yi, who was previously held at Chengdu City Detention Center, has been transferred to a prison whose location is undisclosed to the public. He has not been visited by family.
  • In March 2020, a photograph of Pastor Wang Yi in prison was circulated via Facebook.
  • In January 2020, Pastor Wang Yi’s lawyer announced that they would not be appealing the verdict and would instead serve his full nine-year sentence, stating that “God is continuing his ministry … by moving him from the courtroom to prison.”