They were jailed in 2009 and their church was dynamited in 2018. Their persecution continues.
by Dong Quiyue
Faithful readers of Bitter Winter may remember that we reported in 2018 on the persecution of the Golden Lampstand Church, a house church in Shanxi’s Linfen city. The congregation is part of a network with more than 50,000 members, and the church had costed nearly 2.6 million USD to build.
The Golden Lampstand Church is part of the so-called Sola Fide house churches. These churches do not constitute a denomination, but a loosely connected network without uniform management, which refuses to join the Three-Self Church claiming the latter has rejected and betrayed Martin Luther’s key doctrine of justification “by faith only” (sola fide in Latin).
The Golden Lampstand Church and its members have faced constant persecution by the authorities for decades. In 2009, pastors and co-workers received prison sentences.
After 2018, even without its beautiful place of worship, the congregation has continued to meet outdoor or in private homes. And the CCP has continued to persecute its members.
On August 7, 2021, nine Golden Lamp Church leaders and members were arrested in a well-prepared and coordinated Public Security operation, including Pastor Wang Xiaoguang and Evangelist Yang Rongli. Both of them had already been arrested in 2009.
Christians associated with other churches in the Golden Lampstand network were also taken to police offices for interrogation. Reportedly, this is part of a larger crackdown on house churches in Shanxi province.