I believed in theat 17 and became a member of the church choir. It’s the Lord’s love that connected brothers and sisters from far and wide together, which made us like a family. I felt incomparable joy and happiness. At this point, unexpected things happened.
The First Persecution
I had been a Christian for 3 years by 1993. One morning, when my brothers and sisters and I were praying together at our host family, Section Chief Yang from the local county public security bureau burst into the house with four policemen. Seeing that we were praying on our knees, Section Chief Yang mocked and slandered, “After you prayed, we came here, instead of the Lord Jesus. Hey-hey! I think your Lord can’t protect you.” Then he interrogated us one by one about where we were from…. After I answered him, he said, “You’re a young lady. Why don’t you find a partner at home? Why do you believe in the Lord with them?” I didn’t respond. Then he threatened the preacher with malicious words, “Your gathering secretly is illegal. The government has the right to punish you. Tell you! You must drive away these people. If you gather them together here again, the government will demolish your church and arrest you.” Then he prohibited us from gathering. However, after the police left, we were not frightened by their intimidation. Rather, we continued gatherings with the faith given by the Lord. Afterwards, the CCP police found we proceeded with gatherings, and then they routinely harassed us. During the meeting, brothers and sisters knew the police came again whenever hearing a screech of brakes. Therefore, we often had no peace in our meeting for the CCP police’s harassment. Faced with such environments, sometimes I was weak. Then I remembered that the Lord Jesus was crucified on the cross to redeem us when read the Lord Jesus’ words, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). We too must drink from the bitter cup the Lord Jesus have drunk from; we too must suffer persecution and tribulation the Lord has suffered. Thinking of these, I understand that believing in the Lord is a rough path. I am no longer weak with the support of the Lord’s word.
The First Arrest
The CCP government intensified its efforts to persecute us, because it saw its tricks did not work again and again, instead the people increased dramatically in the church. One day, at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m., over 10 cops came in three vans. They rushed into the church like ferocious wolves, arresting 12 Christians as well as more than 70 people in other 7 churches. Later, they imprisoned us separately and didn’t give us food or water. In the afternoon, the police took all of us to a conference room. At that time, I saw several brothers who were our preachers trussed up tightly and their hands twisted backward. They were suffocated and big drops of sweat were rolling down their faces. The police fiercely said, “It’s called ‘kill the chicken to scare the monkey.’” Then they took the brothers who were preachers to another room. At that time, our hearts flew into our throats. We had no idea how that gang of evil cops would treat them and whether they were alive or dead, but could only pray to the Lord silently, asking Him to protect the brothers.
Before we were reassured, the wolfish police rushed toward us with electric batons in their hands and shouted, “Crouch down against the wall!” And they threatened, “You are not allowed to believe in the Lord! If you want to believe, go to the Three-Self church, or else disband at once.” At the time, I kept praying to the Lord, asking Him to protect us from betraying Him. I would never go to the Three-Self church. Because it was built by the Chinese Communist Party, not a place or worshiping God. Seeing us keep silent, the police bared their ferocious features and got furious. Then they shocked our faces and hands with electric batons. If they saw anyone they disliked they would box our ears, or they pulled our hair and banged our heads against the wall. In this way, we were tortured by the gang of evil cops for one day and one night. The police escorted the preachers to the city’s prison the next day, and we women and children were released. After our release, we still continued gatherings and singing hymns to praise the Lord.
I originally thought that the preachers had already been arrested, the government could not do anything to us women and children. But I never expected that we believers in God were regarded as thorns in the eyes of the government. Less than half a month, the police threatened and persecuted us again, saying, “Your preachers have been arrested, why don’t you disband? Otherwise you’ll be captured.” I said solemnly with justice, “Why do you arrest us? We didn’t break any law.” That gang of evil did not tolerate us to reason with them and shouted fiercely, “If you don’t dismiss, we will level the house for gatherings!” Afterward, the government flatted all the house church meeting places in the countryside. A few days later, they even flatted our gathering place. It was because we believed in God and pursued being a good person that the CCP government did not let off us, exterminating us believers. They completely lost their humanity. It was October that time and it was very cold. Seeing brothers and sisters whoever were young or old did not have place to live, we could only build a shed on the spot to take shelter from the wind, and lay some grasses down on the floor, hang the plastic cloth from the ceiling to have a rest. At night, we could not take off our clothes. The moisture turned to stream and hung on the plastic cloth, and then the water dropped on me. The conditions were horrendous, but we were pleased for the Lord was with us. The police still did not let off us under such environment. Seeing us not disband but even have built the shed, they became flustered and demolished our shed for sheltering from wind and rain. However, brothers and sisters did not lose our faith. They removed it at the daytime, and at night we rebuilt it. The CCP government’s purpose was to drive us to an impasse, but the Lord’s strength was always guiding us and His words accompanied us, the Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12). No matter what great difficulties we encountered, we would be unafraid with the Lord’s word guiding us. The more we suffered persecution, the more resolutely we followed the Lord to walk the path of the cross.
Seeing that we were not vanquished, the CCP government exerted the evil tricks and claimed, “We will completely eradicate and exterminate all believers.” They even ordered local bullies and loafers to expel us from the village in one month. Those local bullies occupied our only shed for shelter, and beat, cursed and teased us. They even burned our sole of the foot with cigarette ends, and tortured us in every possible way. Brothers especially were wounded all over by them. The CCP government wanted to make us give up believing in the Lord through torturing our flesh. It’s clear that the substance of the CCP government is the enemy of God. Although they keep torturing us, we still practice the Lord’s requirements of loving our enemies to move them. During the period of time, we persisted in attending gatherings. 20 days later, those local bullies said, “We won’t do that thing any longer no matter how much the CCP government paid us.” Thank the Lord. It was the Lord Jesus protecting and caring for us. After the local bullies left, we thought we could take a breath and have gatherings peacefully.
The Second Arrest
One day in the Spring of 1994, I hadn’t ever thought that three police cars came to our village, and 7 or 8 evil cops burst into our tent of gatherings. Before saying any words, they arrested brothers and sisters regardless of the old or the young into the police cars, the sound of crying children filling the air. About dozens of believers in other churches were captured to the County, where the police interrogated us one by one and asked us to betray the Lord, and threatened us, “I will release you if you don’t believe, otherwise you will be sentenced.” None of us betrayed the Lord to go home. As a result, the people who believed in the Lord for a long time, newly trained preachers and the couples who were both believers, over 20 in total, were sentenced to three years of reeducation through labor by the police. They said these people who believed in the Lord were obstinate and needed to be rehabilitated. In the meantime, over other 30 believers and I were detained for 4 months. However, we still had gatherings secretly in jail. After we were detained for 4 months, the government questioned us, “Do you disband or continue to believe in the Lord after going home?” We answered in chorus, “We continue to believe.” Seeing that we weren’t defeated by their various means and tricks, and their evil plots finally failed, at last they had no choice but to release us.
After experiencing the CCP government’s arrest and persecution of Christians, I saw that the Chinese government deceived people under the cover of the freedom of belief. It was really savage and vicious of them to treat us believers. Although the government suppressed Christians and did not allow us to, in substance, it persecuted God and opposed God. Under such persecution, I clearly saw the Chinese ruling party’s ugliness, which further strengthened my resolution to follow the Lord.
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