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2017 Annual Report on the Chinese Communist Government’s Persecution of The Church of Almighty God

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2017 Annual Report on the Chinese Communist Government’s Persecution of The Church of Almighty God

TABLE OF CONTENTS

2017 Annual Report on the Chinese Communist Government’s Persecution of The Church of Almighty God

Attachment: Selected 2017 Cases

(1) A Christian in Xinyang City, Henan Province, Arrested and Persecuted to Death for Faith in God

(2) A Christian From the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Wanted, Arrested and Brutally Tortured for Faith in Almighty God

(3) Whereabouts of a Christian Subjected to 2 Arrests in Kaifeng City, Henan Province, Remain Unknown

(4) A Christian in Handan City, Hebei Province, Hunted and Wanted for Preaching the Gospel, Having His Family Members Implicated, Whereabouts of His Son Who Was Taken Away by the Police Remain Unknown

(5) Six Christians Arrested in Heze City, Shandong Province, Five Extorted 155,000 RMB

(6) A Christian Couple Arrested in Nanchong City, Sichuan Province, With the Husband Sentenced and the Wife Kept Under 24-hour Surveillance, Completely Losing Personal Freedom 6

(7) Mother and Daughter in Xiamen City, Fujian Province, Arrested and Monitored by the Chinese Communist Government for Faith in Almighty God

(8) Four Ordinary Christians in Zhoukou City, Henan Province, Arrested for Assembly, With One Forced to Flee After Being Tortured While Another Detained

(9) An 80-year-old Man in Chongqing City, Having His House Ransacked, Fell Unconscious While Subjected to Forced Conversion by the Chinese Communist Government

(10) A Christian in Pizhou City, Jiangsu Province, Subjected to Arbitrary Arrest, Naked Interrogation and Torture, Having His House Ransacked

(11) A Christian in Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, Arrested and Tortured for Confession Due to Faith in God

(12) A Christian in Yichun City, Jiangxi Province, Subjected to 6 Arrests and 4 Detainments

(13) A Christian in Jiaozuo City, Henan Province, Subjected to 3 Arrests and Detainments, Kept Under Long-term Residential Surveillance for Faith in God

2017 Annual Report on the Chinese Communist Government’s Persecution of The Church of Almighty God

The Church of Almighty God (CAG), one of the Chinese house churches, has been suffering most severe persecution at the hands of the Chinese Communist government. Since its establishment in 1991, the CAG has continued to endure the brutal repression and persecution of the Chinese Communist government. In 1995, the authorities of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) used trumped-up charges to condemn the CAG as an “evil cult” and brutally repress and persecute the CAG. According to rough statistics, in just the two short years between 2011 and 2013, the number of the CAG Christians arrested, detained and sentenced by the CCP amounted to 380,380, of which 43,640 members were subjected to various methods of torture at the hands of kangaroo courts, including 13 members who were persecuted to death. As of the end of 2017, there are already 60 well-documented cases of the CAG Christians persecuted to death by the CCP. In 2017, the CCP’s repression of the CAG continues to escalate.

The CCP Government Increases Suppression of Religious Beliefs

In 2017, the CCP Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate issued a judicial interpretation, and the State Council passed a revised “Regulations on Religious Affairs” to further restrict the public right to freedom of religion and increase the suppression and persecution of religious beliefs.

In January 2017, the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate jointly released the “Interpretation of the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate on Several Issues concerning the Application of Law in the Handling of Criminal Cases involving Sabotaging the Enforcement of Laws by Organizing and Utilizing Cult Organizations,” which was officially implemented on February 1, 2017. [1] This “Interpretation” sets out definitions, sentencing, and procedures for determining propaganda materials in relation to so-called “cult organizations,” and stipulates severe punishment for seven types of free religious activities, including preaching in schools or education and training institutions, preaching to minors, public servants engaging in religious activities, and so forth. By issuing this document, the CCP has expanded the scope of criminal law and involves the deprivation of citizens’ political rights and restriction of personal freedom, and provides more legal bases for the CCP to increase the conviction and punishment of Christians of house churches such as the CAG.

On August 26, 2017, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang signed the newly revised “Regulations on Religious Affairs,”[2] with the regulations set to be implemented on February 1, 2018. The new regulations pay much more attention to the management of religious institutions, and significantly increase the restrictions of the staging of religious activities in unregistered spaces. In addition, the regulations provide clear prohibitions against religious education and training and foreign exchanges that have not been officially approved by the government, and add many bans and supervisory provisions related to the finances, publications and online propaganda of religious affairs. The new regulations endow government departments and the State Administration for Religious Affairs with extreme surveillance and administrative powers and provide a powerful legal basis for the future suppression, persecution and prohibition of religious beliefs. In 1particular, the religious activities, religious education, and overseas religious activities of house churches have all been completely throttled on the face of the regulations.

The CCP Government Issued Orders to Launch Special Household Survey Operation, Further Expanding Scope of Persecution

On January 14, 2017, Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People’s Court of China, mentioned the need to deepen the struggle against evil cults during the National Supreme People’s Court Chief Justice Forum, asking to increase punishment efforts against the CAG.[3]

Since early 2017, the Chinese Communist government has launched a full-scale special household survey in Mainland China (“Door-knocking Operation”), knocking on every door of the homes and households to search for the members of so-called “evil cults,” and conducting a “blanket” and “dragnet” inspection. According to the internal instructions of the CCP,[4] the purpose of this operation is to gain a comprehensive grasp of the systems, numbers, and direction of activities of the members of so-called “evil cults,” while also implementing an operation to hunt down those who have escaped and the sharing of an “evil cult members information management system” (“database”), thereby creating a management and monitoring network and a “single account book” on all the details of evil cults. This operation has subjected the CAG Christians to persecution on an even larger scale.

Based on incomplete statistics in the year of 2017, at least 7,899 CAG Christians were subjected to the CCP authorities’ persecution in Mainland China’s 32 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, solely because of their faith in Almighty God and proper practice including participation in gatherings, proselytism, etc. At least 4,969 2members were harassed, including having their personal information collected, being threatened into writing “Statement of Guarantee,” being forced into being photographed, video recorded, monitored, and having their fingerprints, blood samples and hair collected; 372 members had their homes illegally searched. At least 2,930 members were arrested, among whom 1,425 were subjected to short-term or long-term detainment, 59 were subjected to various torture under kangaroo courts, and 163 were sentenced to imprisonment. Not less than 32,213,023 RMB were confiscated. (Attachment: “Selected 2017 Cases”)

According to incomplete statistics as of December 31, 2017, 60 CAG Christians were persecuted to death at the hands of the CCP; 606 are being detained with a maximum jail terms of 14 years; 47 were released upon completion of jail terms. As some of those who are being detained, their names have been released on the website of HRWF. [5]

As the CCP government is currently carrying out a full-scale investigation and making wanton arrests of the CAG Christians, this has caused many Christians to go into hiding. Many Christians arrested or kept under surveillance after their release are no longer contactable, so it is very difficult to conduct a comprehensive and detailed survey of all the Christians who have been captured and persecuted. When it comes to the number of the CAG Christians arrested and persecuted this year, the above statistics are only the tip of the iceberg.

The CCP Government Expands “Overseas United Front” Work, Seeks to Legalize Its Persecution of The Church of Almighty God

Ever since the “May 28 McDonald’s Murder Case” in 2014, the CAG Christians have been forced to flee to various overseas countries to seek asylum and escape the increasingly brutal arrest and persecution of the CCP government. The CCP government followed by extending its operations of capturing and persecuting Christians to foreign countries and strengthening its “Overseas United Front” work, the focus of which is to persecute the CAG in other countries. In 2017, the Communist government on the one hand strictly controlled domestic residents leaving the country and deepened checks on overseas Christians of the CAG and their family backgrounds, seeking to use their families to threaten Christians into returning to China. The CCP forced some relatives of the fugitive Christians abroad to apply for passports, organized them to manufacture public opinions abroad, framing, slandering, discrediting, and attacking The Church of Almighty God, instigating the masses that do not know the truth to rise up and oppose The Church of Almighty God, restricting the survival space of the fugitive Christians, and attempting to force the Christians to return to China to continue enduring its persecution.

At the same time, the CCP invited experts, academics, journalists, and overseas Chinese leaders of Western countries and continued to disseminate fake information to smear and condemn the CAG, aiming to use influential individuals in the West to speak for them suppressing and persecuting the CAG.

The “2017 Main Work Points of the Leading Group of the Henan Provincial Party Committee for Preventing and Dealing with the Problem of Evil Cults” issued by the CCP government on April 5, 2017 proposes taking full advantage of foreign channels friendly to the CCP overseas, and mobilizing quite influential experts, academics, journalists and overseas Chinese leaders, etc. in Western countries to advocate their cause.

In June and September of the same year, the CCP held separate international anti-cult academic conferences in Henan and Hong Kong. The core issue of the conferences was to discuss the CCP’s definition of “evil cults,” and why the CCP condemns the CAG as a cult organization. The CCP invited several renowned European and American religious experts and academics to the conference and utilized rumors such as the May 28 McDonald’s Murder case to continue smearing the CAG, seeking to confuse Western scholars into agreeing with the CCP’s condemnation of the CAG and legalize its move to persecute the CAG, thus thoroughly eradicating the CAG.

Accordingly, Professor Massimo Introvigne, the managing director of Italy’s Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), who was twice invited to the conferences conducted an in-depth study of the McDonald’s Murder in Zhaoyuan city. In the end, he concluded: The May 28 Zhaoyuan murder case was completely unrelated to the CAG, and none of the perpetrators were ever members of the CAG. He also published an article summarizing his research related to the May 28 Murder in the September-October 2017 issue of “The Journal of CESNUR.”[6] Not long after, David G. Bromley, a prominent American professor of Religious Studies and Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, jointly investigated all documents provided by the CCP in relation to the McDonald’s murder together with professor Massimo Introvigne and once again indicated that the perpetrators were “members of a different, independent group” and not the CAG. The results of the research of these religious experts shatter the CCP’s defamatory rumors that the Zhaoyuan murder was an act of the CAG. [7] Media outlets such as the European Federation for Freedom of Belief,[8] Italy’s Counseling Center SRS (Sectes, Religions, Spirituality),[9] and South Korea’s Prime Business Journal (프라임경제)[10] and NBN News[11] have also reported objectively on the May 28 Murder case. The real truth behind the May 28 incident is gradually becoming known and accepted by the world.

Attachment: Selected 2017 Cases

(1) A Christian in Xinyang City, Henan Province, Arrested and Persecuted to Death for Faith in God

Mr. Meng Guangqun, a native of Luoshan County, Xinyang City, Henan Province, a former member of the Great Praise Church, joined The Church Almighty God in October 2000. He was popularly regarded as a kind-hearted and particularly honest person by local people.

One day in December 2012, when preaching the gospel in Xi County, Xinyang City, Meng Guangqun and several other Christians were arrested by four policemen from the Xi County Public Security Bureau and escorted to the bureau for interrogation. One of the Christians managed to escape during the arrest. Meng was subsequently detained for 15 days by the Xi County Public Security Bureau on charges of “illegal preaching” and “disturbing public order.” He was released upon completion of the detention term.

Arrested Again for Believing in God and Subject to Brutal Torture

At about 8 a.m. on July 15, 2017, when Meng Guangqun was at home alone, three policemen from the Xi County Public Security Bureau came to Meng’s residence. Without producing any explanation or an arrest warrant, they forcibly escorted Meng to the public security bureau for interrogation.

During the interrogation, the police forced Meng to provide the information of the Christian who had escaped the arrest in December 2012, the whereabouts of the church leaders, and information of the church. Meng never disclosed anything. The police commanded him to strip naked and lie face down on the floor. Three policemen then fiercely whipped him on the back and buttocks with sticks and the soles of leather shoes until one of the sticks snapped. Meng Guangqun was in excruciating pain and unable to move. One of the policemen kicked Meng’s legs so fiercely with his leather shoes that Meng’s left calf was lacerated and covered with black and blue bruises.

On July 18, Meng Guangqun was escorted back home by armed policemen of Xi County Public Security Bureau. The police warned him, “You’d better think it over and tell us everything we want to know. Come and report to the bureau every Monday. If we catch you for believing in God again, we will beat you to death!” Fearful of being arrested again by the police, he fled from home that night.

Hunted by Police in flight, Died of Serious Injury

On July 19, Meng Guangqun quietly came to the Li couple’s home, both of whom are Christians, for hiding. He told the couple about his experience of being arrested and brutally beaten by the CCP. Seeing Meng’s buttock was so badly lacerated that he could not sit, and his hands were bruised too, the Li’s were distressed. They prepared a meal for him in a hurry, but Meng could not eat. He said in tears, “I felt pain all over. I am so stricken with fear that I have lost my appetite. I’m so distressed. I merely believe in God. I do not steal or rob, but the CCP beat me up so badly.” At around 9:30 p.m., afraid of involving the Li’s, Meng Guangqun left their house.

Having no place to hide, Meng Guangqun braved danger in going back home around 8:30 p.m. on July 23. When he approached his house, he spotted a police car parked along the roadside nearby. Upon seeing him, two policemen jumped off from their car and ran toward him. Meng was so scared that he sped off on his bike. Unfortunately, he ran into a tree. The front and the tires of his bicycle were all crashed. He fell on the ground, with a large purple bump on his head, his whole body covered with water and mud. Nursing great pain, he desperately ran into the woods. The police chased after him in the woods until late that night. Eventually he was forced to jump from a three-meter-high ridge into the paddy field below. He was almost killed by the fall. It was then the police stopped hunting. After the police left, Meng hauled himself up. At around 4:30 a.m., he arrived at his sister-in-law’s house.

According to Meng Guangqun’s uncle, on the early morning of July 24, when he opened the door, he saw Meng Guangqun covered with mud and water, pale and panicked. He covered his head with his right hand. There was a purplish bloody cyst on his forehead. Wearing a short-sleeved shirt, his arms, face, hands were all covered with thorns. He was bare-footed with only a pair of broken socks. His pants were ripped and torn with a long cut. After learning that Meng was pursued by the police, his uncle hurried and cleaned the wound for him. Meng Guangqun said: “Uncle, please take me to a doctor. I feel hurt and numb in my head. I don’t want to become a vegetable.” His uncle took him to a village clinic. Seeing that Meng was badly injured, the doctor gave him a simple dressing and told Meng’s uncle that Meng might have sustained brain injury, and he’d better take him to a major hospital for treatment. Meng, however, worried that he might be found and recaptured by the police when he had to show his ID card for hospitalization, he decided to go back home. Since Meng had been unable to walk, his uncle drove him home on an electric tricycle at noon.

After returning home, resulting from the bad injury and extreme fear of the police coming to arrest him at any moment, Meng started to exhibit mental disorder somewhat. On July 27, when Meng’s uncle visited him, he saw Meng lying in bed, debilitated, his face in a scary blue. When Meng saw his uncle, he suddenly sat up and said in horror, “Uncle, do not come again. The police are everywhere.” Meng’s elder brother said sadly, “Meng Guangqun has barely eaten since he was back. He kept walking back and forth in the house, muttering ‘police, police!’ When I asked him about what had happened and what the police had done to him, he just ignored me. Seeing that he refuses to eat or drink, and becomes so skinny, like a dying person, my mom and I are madly anxious about him.”

In the morning of August 5, 2017, when Meng’s mother brought food to him, she found him dead in bed. Meng died at the age of 52.

(2) A Christian From the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Wanted, Arrested and Brutally Tortured for Faith in Almighty God

Mr. Deng Chao, 42-year-old, resided in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and was then a leader of The Church of Almighty God. Deng Chao was wanted online by the CCP police in October 2017 for believing in Almighty God. Later he was arrested by the police and subject to brutal torture.

On November 26, 2017, at 8:30 a.m., Deng Chao was arrested by the police during a security check at the Shihezi City Train Station in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Shortly after, he was escorted to the police station at the train station where he was physically searched and questioned by the police for personal information. The police produced the arrest warrant posted online by the Wujiaqu State Security Brigade of the Changji Sixth Agricultural Division, Xinjiang. Subsequently, the police produced the pictures of three CAG leaders along with their personal information, and forced Deng Chao to make identification. When Deng Chao denied, he was violently beaten by the police.

At noon on the same day, Deng Chao was confined in the Shihezi City Detention Center. In the prison room, the head prisoner rudely ordered Deng Chao to mop the floor and toilet. He forced Deng Chao to strip himself naked and squat in the toilet, and ordered Deng Chao to put both hands on his head and poured basin after basin of cold water down his head. It was the coldest days of the winter. Deng Chao was shivering from the cold while suffering from a terrible headache. But the head prisoner did not let him say it was cold, relenting only when Deng Chao said it was not cold.

On November 27, past 4 p.m., the captain of the Wujiaqu City Criminal Police Squad, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, took Deng Chao from the detention center and escorted him to the Guangming Road Police Station in Wujiaqu City for questioning. During the interrogation, the police handcuffed Deng Chao to the tiger bench and deprived him of sleep. He was guarded by four people each day. In order to persuade Deng Chao to explain the situation of the church and information of other Christians, the police threatened to detain him indefinitely and even sentence him to prison. Seeing that Deng Chao would not speak, the State Security Brigade captain took an electric wire, twisted it into a cable the thickness of a finger, took turn with three people including the Criminal Police Squad captain and viciously whipped Deng Chao on his back, chest and legs, followed by whipping him with a thinner copper wire. Handcuffed to the tiger bench, Deng Chao was unable to dodge but took the brutal beating. Later, they whipped Deng Chao on his hands, removed his shoes and viciously whipped the tops and bottoms of his feet. The pain made Deng Chao scream out loudly. Both of his hands and feet were swollen. Seeing that Deng Chao refused to speak all along, the State Security Brigade captain and Criminal Police Squad captain turned him over to four young policemen for continual torture. The policemen took Deng Chao down from the tiger bench and fed him mustard oil. They made him squat for twenty minutes a time with a ten-minute break in between. This was repeated three times. Hong’s face was covered with sweat. His legs were trembling uncontrollably. Afterward, the police handcuffed him to the tiger bench again.

The next day, the police escorted Deng Chao to the Sixth Agricultural Division Detention Center in Wujiaqu City. During a strip search in the detention center, Deng Chao saw that his body was covered with injuries, his legs were bruised, and his feet were so swollen that he could not put on shoes.

On December 11, Deng Chao was transferred to a labor hotel in Wujiaqu City for secret interrogation. Inside the hotel, the police handcuffed Deng Chao to the tiger bench and deprived him of sleep for seven days and nights. As soon as he dozed off, the police opened the window to make him freeze, and used towels soaked with cold water to rub him on his head, face and neck. Wearing only a thin cotton T-shirt and a pair of pants, Deng Chao was trembling all over from the coldness. During that period, Deng Chao was brainwashed and forced to give up his faith.

In the early hours of December 18, Deng Chao escaped from the hotel while the guarding police were asleep. He has been on the run to date.

(3) Whereabouts of a Christian Subjected to 2 Arrests in Kaifeng City, Henan Province, Remain Unknown

Ms. Cheng Xiaodong (56-year-old, resident of Weishi County, Kaifeng City), a Christian from The Church of Almighty God, was reported to the police by an informant for believing in God. On October 22, 2012, after spending the evening on preaching the gospel, she was arrested by four policemen from the local police station on the way home.

At the police station, Cheng Xiaodong was interrogated by three policemen: “When did you start believing in God? Who induced you?” When Cheng Xiaodong did not answer, the police blew pepper spray at her. She was violently beaten by three policemen afterward, resulting in multiple contusions. A policeman fiercely said to her, “Let you feel how it is to have your skull and bones cracked!”

On October 23, at 8 p.m., Cheng Xiaodong was moved to the detention center in Kaifeng by four policemen. After she spent 38 days in the detention center, two policemen from the police station again interrogated her, “What do you believe in? Tell us, or we will let you rot in here. Let your son collect your corpse!” Finally, the police accused Cheng Xiaodong of “participating in a cult and disrupting public order” and detained her for 11 months at the detention center. She was released on September 25, 2013.

Upon Cheng Xiaodong’s release, she learned that her house was searched after she had been arrested. In order to evade arrest, her Christian husband fled overnight to Kaifeng City in the bitter winter over a 100-kilometers trek and began to lead a fugitive life. Not until she was released did her husband dare to return home. During that period, Cheng’s family spent 6,500 RMB to smooth things out for Cheng Xiaodong with the authorities.

After being released, Cheng Xiaodong was under the surveillance of the CCP police. From time to time, the police made Cheng Xiaodong report to the Public Security Bureau and police station. They even made Cheng Xiaodong’s son and daughter-in-law monitor her movements. In the years following her release, the couple’s rights to believe in God and assemble were completely deprived by the persecution of the CCP.

On May 17, 2017, the police again broke into Cheng Xiaodong’s house and took her away forcibly. She has not returned home since then; her whereabouts and fate are still unclear. …

(4) A Christian in Handan City, Hebei Province, Hunted and Wanted for Preaching the Gospel, Having His Family Members Implicated, Whereabouts of His Son Who Was Taken Away by the Police Remain Unknown

At about 11 a.m. on December 17, 2012, Mr. Meng Zhenghao, a Christian from The Church of Almighty God in Handan City, Hebei Province, was driving in his van with a 65-year-old Christian (carrying a baby) on their way to a village to preach the gospel. On the way, Meng Zhenghao was tailed by four policemen in a police vehicle from the township police station. At the same time, three policemen were led by the township mayor in a sedan to intercept him in the front. Subsequently, two policemen led by the township police station chief in a vehicle also participated in the arrest. The township mayor let the police put bricks, wooden blocks and other obstacles on the road, and dispatched two trucks to block the road. Surrounded and intercepted by the mayor and police, Meng was forced to stop. The police station chief grabbed Meng by the collar and gave him two hard slaps on the face. Three policemen rushed over, pushed Meng on the ground and handcuffed him from behind. The police forcibly lifted Meng up and pushed him inside the police vehicle without producing any credentials and took him to the police station. Two policemen even fiercely smashed the windshield of Meng’s vehicle with wooden sticks.

The police ordered Meng Zhenghao to sit on a torture-rack. He was interrogated by a 30-year-old plainclothes policeman: “What are you doing here? What is in your vehicle?” Meng honestly told the police that there were personal belongings inside. The police then started to search Meng’s van where the older Christian wanted to protect the evangelical items. But the police forcefully wrested the baby out of her arms, dragged her off the vehicle and took three MP5 players, books on belief in God and forty copies of evangelical materials, Meng’s ID card, vehicle license, driver’s license and 35,000 RMB in cash from the van. When some elderly Christians in the church heard that all the evangelical materials and personal belongings carried by Meng were confiscated by the police, they went to the police station and reasoned with the police, demanding that they release Meng and return the seized items. The station chief only agreed to release Meng but refused to return his belongings, and denied the fact of having seized 35,000 RMB from Meng. The Christians present were angry when they heard that. An elderly Christian with hemiplegia again demanded that the police return Meng’s money, but she was pushed in the snow by a 35-year-old policeman, causing her to have a hemiplegic stroke. Seeing what was happening, the police reluctantly let Meng drive the older Christian to see a doctor, trying to seize the moment to send them away. However, Meng insisted on recovering his money and belongings. Several elderly Christians also demanded the police station to return the belongings of Meng. Daunted by the people’s escalating anger, the station leaders were forced to return some of Meng’s personal belongings but forcibly kept Meng’s identity information and fingerprints. Eager to send the older Christian to see a doctor, Meng did not count the money, just to find that of the 35,000 RMB, 3,900 RMB was missing when he returned home. It turned out that the police had blatantly robbed Meng of his money.

About 1 a.m. the next day, more than 30 policemen surrounded the courtyard of Meng Zhenghao. Six of them climbed over the wall and proceeded to ransack the house without showing any credentials. They did not find any faith-related items. Because Meng was not at home, they had to give up. But the police did not stop going after Meng. Later the police suspected that a relative of Meng was a Christian from The Church of Almighty God. They used the same method to break into his home by climbing over the wall in the middle of the night. At that time, the three women in the house thought that the intruders were robbers and screamed in horror, “Help! Robbers!” One of the intruders said they were policemen but didn’t produce any credentials before ransacking the house. They pulled blankets and clothes from the closets, scattering things all about and creating a mess. They swaggered off after no evidence was found.

Since then, in order to evade the CCP police’s arrest, Meng’s wife had also been forced to flee with a pair of children (Christians). In July 2013, the police repeatedly went to Meng’s hometown to arrest him without success. They also went to the home of Meng’s younger brother and asked him about the whereabouts of Meng and his mobile phone number. They coaxed his younger brother and 70-year-old mother, saying, “It will be alright if you take out some money to have Meng’s record cleared.” They also monitored his brother’s mobile phone afterward. In September 2013, the police brought the two children (7-year-old and 9-year-old) of a Christian who was acquainted with Meng to the police station for interrogation about Meng’s whereabouts. Meng was forced to relocate, his 13-year-old son dropped out of school and stayed at home, and her daughter could not go to work. In 2014, a relative of Meng who worked at the Public Security Bureau informed Meng that the police had posted a warrant with an offer of reward online for his arrest. In August 2016, Meng heard from his mother that the provincial authorities had frozen his household account. Since Meng’s family had a joined household account, Meng’s brother was restricted from getting a car loan, registering his household, and using his cash-advance cards, causing trouble to the normal life of his entire family. The police even inquired about Meng’s whereabouts with his cousin but to no avail. Listening to his mother, Meng indignantly said, “In China, one’s belief in God is really a crime that implicates his entire clan!”

It was reported that on the evening of March 28, 2017, the police entered the house at night and arrested Meng Zhenghao’s 17-year-old son and brought him to the County Public Security Bureau. After the provincial task force took him away, his whereabouts are still unknown to-date. Since the arrest in 2013, Meng’s family have been living a displaced and homeless life in order to evade persecution of the Chinese Communist government. So far, he has been unable to care for his old mother or inquire about the news of his son, agonizing over his shattered family and homelessness.

(5) Six Christians Arrested in Heze City, Shandong Province, Five Extorted 155,000 RMB

On March 10, 2017 at about 3 p.m., in Heze City’s Mudan District, Ms. Zhang Qiulan (53-year-old), Ms. Li Lanying (74-year-old) and Ms. Wang Xiuli (60-year-old), three Christians who were congregating at the home of a local Christian Ms. Tian Aiju (71-year-old) had been reported by informants. Several plainclothes policemen from the local Public Security Bureau broke into the house without producing any identification and ransacked Tian Aiju’s home on the pretext of “unlawful gathering.” They seized Tian Aiju’s books on belief in God, two MP5 players, her identity card (all unreturned), and then escorted the four of them to a guesthouse.

Inside the guesthouse, the police interrogated them separately. The police questioned Zhang Qiulan about “for how many years she had believed in God, who preached the gospel to her, how many churches there were, who the leaders were and so on” without results. The other three people were also interrogated one by one but to no avail.

Due to her old age, Li Lanying was released on the day of her arrest.

On March 11, the police escorted Zhang Qiulan and the other two to the local detention center.

On the same day, unaware that Tian Aiju had been arrested, Ms. Li Qing (33-year-old), and Ms. Zhang Meilan (61-year-old), Christians from The Church of Almighty God living in Heze City, went to her place for some reason. Three plain-clothed policemen stationing at Tian Aiju’s home forcibly arrested Li and Zhang and took them to a hotel. Inside, the police reprimanded Li Qing, “Your belief in God is counter-revolutionary!” Li Qing retorted, “We believe in the only true God who created all things in heaven and earth, and we believe in God without participating in politics. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China explicitly stipulates that Chinese citizens enjoy the right of religious freedom. Why do you prohibit people from believing in God?” The police quibbled, “The freedom of belief refers to believing in the Three-Self Church!” The interrogation did not yield any results. During that period, Li Qing’s husband hired a defense lawyer for her, but the lawyer was in cohort with the CCP police. They coerced Li to write a guarantee that she would no longer believe in God, which she angrily rejected. During her interrogation, the police arranged for someone to search the home of Li Qing, seizing a total of fifteen copies of faith-related materials (unreturned). On March 12, the police charged Li Qing with the offense of “using a cult organization to undermine the implementation of the law” and escorted her to the detention center.

On March 16, the police ordered Wang Xiuli’s family to pay a fine of 27,000 RMB (without receipt) and released her.

On March 17, the police ordered Tian Aiju’s family to pay a fine of 25,000 RMB (without receipt) for the release of Tian Aiju on bail pending trial.

At about 9 a.m. on March 18, the police fined Zhang Qiulan for 40,000 RMB and ordered her family members to spend a total of over 10,000 RMB on gifts (both without receipts) for her release on bail pending trial.

On March 23, after failing to interrogate Zhang Meilan, the police fined her for 12,000 RMB and ordered her family to spend a total of 8,000 RMB on gifts (both without receipts) and released her on bail pending trial.

As of April 2, after Li Qing’s family had spent 3,500 RMB in lawyer’s fees, the sum of 2,000 RMB to feast the officials and buy them gifts, and a fine of 28,000 RMB (all without receipts), Li Qing was released on bail pending trial.

(6) A Christian Couple Arrested in Nanchong City, Sichuan Province, With the Husband Sentenced and the Wife Kept Under 24-hour Surveillance, Completely Losing Personal Freedom

Ms. Liu Jiayu, 43-year-old, a native of Nanchong City, Sichuan Province, is a Christian from The Church of Almighty God.

On March 20, 2014, at 9 p.m., six plainclothes policemen knocked on the door of Liu Jiayu’s home on the ground of “overhauling the water pipes.” When the door was opened, they stormed in and ransacked the house, seizing the books on belief of God, MP4 players, TF cards, a notebook computer, a printer, electrical repair tools and other items (all unreturned to date). Subsequently, the police took Liu Jiayu and her eldest daughter to the China West Normal University guesthouse in Nanchong City for secret interrogation (the Chinese Communist government has leased a total of 23 rooms on the first and second floors of the guesthouse under armed guard. A Christian is confined in each room, guarded by four to five people).

Liu Jiayu’s daughter was released on the evening of March 21. At the same time, her husband was arrested (sentenced to 4 years and 6 months’ imprisonment and currently is still serving her sentence).

On March 23, when Captain Du of a detachment of the State Security Brigade was interrogating Liu Jiayu, he triumphantly said, “This time we are implementing a large-scale arrest of The Church of Almighty God. It is an extended secret tracking program that has lasted for more than a year since the end of 2012. Before the arrest operation, we even posted propaganda notices on the walls of all the communities about the impending spot-check of household accounts. Those unaware of the truth really thought that we were spot-checking household accounts while it was actually the civilian police from the police station verifying the residence addresses of believers in God in their area of jurisdiction in order to execute foolproof arrests. Our arrest operation was dubbed ‘Thunderclap 3–Shock and Awe,’ the Special Task Group on No. 14 Case supervised by the Ministry of Public Security mobilizing several hundred people from the public security bureaus of the province, city and county, and the municipal and prefectural State Security Brigade, armed police, SWAT, and civilian police. Under the unified operations of the public security units throughout the province, more than 40 members of The Church of Almighty God were arrested overnight on charge of ‘subversion of state power.’” After being continuously interrogated by the police for 9 days and nights, on March 29, Liu Jiayu was sent to the Legal Education Center (an indoctrination base) for indoctrination. After admission, Liu Jiayu was supervised by two accompanying instructors around the clock. Every day they interrogated Liu Jiayu about her belief in God, forcing her to read blasphemous negative propaganda materials and telling her menacingly, “Your belief in God is forbidden by the country. If you do not work with us and tell us everything you know, we will send your children to the orphanage!” Liu Jiayu had been indoctrinated and coerced by the police for more than 30 days. She had been incarcerated at the detention center for more than two months, during which the task force of the State Security Brigade and Provincial Public Security Department came to fetch her for interrogation every two or three days. Due to the arrest of Liu Jiayu and her husband, their family was unsupported. Their eldest daughter was forced to drop out of school to work and two young children were left unattended at home. Under the pressure of public opinions, the CCP police reluctantly released Liu Jiayu on bail pending trial.

On December 9, 2015, the court sentenced Liu Jiayu to imprisonment of three years, suspended for four years, on charges of subversion of state power and “using a cult organization to undermine the implementation of the law.”

On January 16, 2017, Liu Jiayu was summoned to court by telephone and issued a notice of execution of criminal cases which stated, “Your original sentence of three years imprisonment, suspended for four years, has been nullified for re-sentencing. The second adjudication is likewise three years imprisonment, suspended for four years, effective from January 5, 2017 to January 4, 2021. You have to serve another four years of extra-prison term.” She was taken to the Justice Bureau where the bailiff forcibly attached on her a pair of electronic handcuffs with positioning and eavesdropping functions (watch-like shape) and warned her, “From now on, this gadget must be worn 24 hours a day, even when you are taking a bath. If it is removed, it will automatically alert the police. If you leave the central district of Nanchong City, it will automatically alert the police too!” Liu Jiayu was also ordered to send a text message to the Judiciary Bureau once a week, attend a meeting at the Judiciary Bureau each month, write and submit an ideological report to the Judiciary Bureau on 20th or so of each month, and volunteer for 8 hours of labor service at community correctional institution. Liu Jiayu has completely lost her personal freedom and normal church life. She is living with pains and sorrows under the torment of the CCP police. Liu Jiayu’s daughter has also been living in fear of the police suddenly storming in and taking her mother away again.

(7) Mother and Daughter in Xiamen City, Fujian Province, Arrested and Monitored by the Chinese Communist Government for Faith in Almighty God

Ms. Chen Yi (44-year-old), a Christian who lived in Tong’an District, Xiamen City, Fujian Province, was arrested by the Chinese Communist police in December 2012 for preaching the gospel. After her release on the same day, on a day of May 2013 at about 8:30 a.m., she was taken by two civil servants to a hotel room for indoctrination in an attempt to make her renounce her faith. Thereafter, from January 2014 to February 2, 2017, government officials had gone to Chen Yi’s house every year to spy on her whereabouts for at least eight times.

In July 2014, the CCP resumed arresting the believers in God who had been arrested in the past. Chen Yi was forced to take refuge in a hideout. The village party secretary Lee, several village cadres and town government officials had been looking for Chen at her home and coercing her husband to lure her back under the pretext of building a house at home. Every few days, they went to Chen Yi’s workplace to inquire about her whereabouts. As a result, she was dismissed by her work unit two months ahead of schedule as stipulated in her employment contract.

Over the past few years, the Chinese Communist government has been monitoring and harassing Chen Yi frequently, causing her to completely lose her personal freedom. Even her teenage daughter was not spared by the CCP. In the morning of August 17, 2016, when Chen Yi’s daughter Chen Ying (17-year-old) was doing homework in a rental house, she heard a burst of rapid knock on the door at about 10 a.m. When the door was opened, four plainclothes policemen entered. One of the policemen was filming Chen Ying with a video camera. After presenting his credentials, the captain asked, “Who is renting this house here? Do you live here alone? Does anyone come to meet you here for belief in God?” Then they searched around the room, found Chen’s mobile phone, charger, U disk (learning aid), a testimonial article, an MP5 player (the mobile phone and charger were later returned, but not the other items). The police made Chen point at the MP5 player and took pictures. They questioned her again, “Do you know what you believe in? You believe in Almighty God. That is prohibited by the state.” Chen retorted, “Doesn’t the law say freedom of belief?” The policeman said, “When you go to worship in the temple and the churches regulated by the government, it is permitted. Believing in Almighty God is prohibited.” Chen was taken to the police station afterward. At about 3 p.m., a policeman brought an arrested Christian member of The Church of Almighty God for Chen Ying to identify. He demanded, “Is she your leader?” She did not admit. Since Chen Ying was under 18, until past 11 p.m., they made her sign a “decision of administrative penalty” and released her.

On March 27, 2017, after 4 p.m., the dean of school told Chen Ying to withdraw from school voluntarily. The teaching director said, “Now the state attaches great importance to this matter. Believing in Almighty God is against the law and forbidden by the state.” At that time, Chen was only a month shy of graduating, but she was forced to withdraw from school.

On April 17, 2017, a town government employee brought three policemen from the local police station to Chen Yi’s house to inquire about matters related to believing in God. He also asked for Chen’s mobile phone number and demanded that she turned on the phone 24 hours each day.

Due to persecution by the Chinese Communist government, Chen Ying’s father who initially had not objected to the mother and daughter’s faith was extremely distraught. He worried that his younger daughter who was going to school would be implicated by her mother and sister’s belief in God. The arrest and monitor by the Chinese Communist government had cast a shadow over Chen Ying’s young mind. The mother and daughter felt anguished and depressed. Chen Yi’s husband was overwhelmed; he often took to alcohol for relief. Chen Yi’s originally tranquil home was led into turmoil under the menace of the CCP.

(8) Four Ordinary Christians in Zhoukou City, Henan Province, Arrested for Assembly, With One Forced to Flee After Being Tortured While Another Detained

Mr. Zhang Ming, 48-year-old, Xiangcheng resident; Ms. Tang Rong, 53-year-old; Ms. Huang Ying, 56-year-old; Ms. Zhao Beibei, 16-year-old; all three were Huaiyang residents. All of them are Christians from The Church of Almighty God.

On March 28, 2017, past 9 a.m., the four people were gathering at a meeting place in a village in Huaiyang County. Three policemen from the local police station suddenly arrived in a white van. They stormed into the house and ransacked the place (without showing any credentials), seizing over twenty books on belief in God, one MP5 player and four 32G memory cards. Zhang Ming tried to escape but he was captured by the police and forcibly handcuffed. The four people were pushed into the police car and taken to the local police station. After 11 a.m., they were transferred to the National Security Brigade of Huaiyang County Public Security Bureau.

At the National Security Brigade, the police made Zhang sit on a torture-rack. At 11:30 a.m., the police searched the four Christians and interrogated them separately. A letter, a 32G- and a 16G-memory card were seized from Zhang Ming.

At 2 p.m., the captain and a policeman interrogated Zhang Ming. The captain trumped up some charges to frame Zhang, forcing him to admit. When Zhang staunchly refused, the captain was enraged. He walked up and stepped on Zhang’s toes, grinding them with his heel. Other policemen on site took turns to slap Zhang and whip his face continually with a belt for a few dozen times. When they finished, the captain maliciously said, “If you don’t admit it, I will make you drink the ‘lao hai’ (slang for heroin), inject you with heroin, make your body feel like being bitten by bugs all over. When we want you to admit something, you have to admit it. Otherwise we will kill you and send your body to the crematorium. No one will be the wiser when you are turned into ashes! The central government ordered us to treat you who believe in Almighty God cavalierly. We can beat you to death with no one to answer for it!” He then put the leg of a wooden chair over Zhang’s toes with a policeman standing on the chair, rocking it back and forth. Tens of minutes later, the wooden chair was replaced with an iron one. The policemen took turns to stand on the iron chair and continued to crush Zhang’s toes for tens of minutes while slapping his face repeatedly. Zhang felt that his head was spinning and his eyes seeing stars. He was in so much pain that he screamed, “Just go ahead and kill me!” The policeman said venomously, “That’s wishful thinking! When you are here, you wish you were dead than alive!”

The police continued to interrogate Zhang Ming and forced him to admit to unfounded charges. Zhang refused. The captain said fiercely, “When I say something is yours, you must admit that it is yours. I will keep on beating you until you admit it.” Then he brought in all kinds of torture instruments: pliers, awls (with barbs), electric batons, and belts. Again, the captain beat Zhang’s face dozens of times with a belt. Zhang’s mouth and face were bleeding. They removed Zhang’s shirt and viciously struck his back with the belt buckle (an iron ring) dozens of times. He threatened, “If you don’t admit it, I will clamp your tongue with the pliers and keep jabbing it with the barbed awl until you do!” Later, the captain tried to clamp Zhang’s tongue with the pliers. Zhang Ming dodged. The captain wrapped the belt around Zhang’s neck, held his head still on the torture-rack, and gripped his mouth and face with the pliers. With the electric baton, he jolted Zhang’s shoulders, arms and legs dozens of times. Zhang Ming howled in pain. But the police did not stop. They continued to shock him, perversely relishing Zhang Ming’s ordeal. Zhang’s entire body was jolted numb without consciousness, covered with scars and bruises (the electric burnt left by the baton did not heal for more than 20 days). It was until 11 p.m. when the police stopped the interrogation and let Zhang Ming sleep on the torture-rack overnight.

About 8 a.m. the next day, the captain and two other policemen found some negative materials from the CCP in the computer to indoctrinate him. Zhang argued in pain, “Doesn’t the state provide for freedom of belief?” The policeman arrogantly said, “The freedom of belief is true as long as it is within the scope prescribed by the state. Do you know what this place of ours is? You see our plaque that reads ‘State Security Brigade’? Our job is protecting the state, and the state pays us wages to beat you!” At about 10 a.m., when the policeman could not find Zhang Ming’s name on the Internet, he stepped on Zhang’s toes again (Zhang was unable to walk with his toe injury which only slightly recovered in more than ten days) and struck Zhang’s face with the sole of a sports shoe. Zhang’s teeth were beaten loose and blood was flowing out of his mouth. The policemen scolded as they were striking Zhang, “You need to lick the blood on the floor!” (Zhang’s face was cracked and a layer of skin came off his gum). At about 11 a.m., Zhang asked to use the toilet. The police said, “Don’t expect to use the toilet before you answer my questions. Just urinate and defecate on the floor and lick it up afterward!”

At around 6 p.m., the captain asked, “Who was the one that preached the gospel to you? How many people do you lead? Where does the church keep its money? Just these twenty-something books and cards of yours are enough to send you to prison for three to seven years.” The captain followed by coercing and tempting Zhang, “I won’t sentence you now. I will release you tomorrow to find your top leaders. After you return, say you have escaped while going to the toilet. I will give you three months to infiltrate The Church of Almighty God to be an undercover agent. If you cannot fulfill the task in three months, we will publicize your affairs in your own village so you can neither face the community outside nor survive. We will also spread the word among the believers of God that you have betrayed your church so they will expel you. As long as you work with us, we will make you an official and give you a lot of money. If you run away, we will catch your son when we can’t catch you. With all the security cameras out there, you can’t run away even if we give you a long head-start. Even if you go abroad, we still can bring you back!”

When interrogating Tang Rong, a policeman grabbed her by her hair and fiercely said, “For how many years have you believed in God? What is the name of that man we arrested? Is he your leader? Whose MP5 players and cards are these? Who downloaded these stuff for you? …” There was no response. The policeman angrily picked up a file, beat Tang’s face with it repeatedly and fiercely stomped on her thigh several times while cursing, “I will kill you if you don’t tell me!” Tang was stunned and traumatized by the beating. Her head was spinning and her eyes were swollen into a slit. Tang was detained for fifteen days. She was made to pay 140 RMB as living expense. The police also threatened her, “if you believe in God again when you are out, we will arrest you!”

When interrogating Huang Ying, a police officer asked her, “Where are you from?” Then he picked up books and used it to rain blows on her eyes and forehead, causing her to be dazzled. He also pressed on Huang Ying’s forehead and punched her hard in the eyes, beating her head numb and senseless. The policeman ferociously asked, “When did you start believing in God, and for how long? Who preached the gospel to you? How did you know each other?” He followed by blurting out the names of several Christians for her to identify. Huang did not oblige. The interrogation did not yield any results. Since Huang Ying was ill, the police reluctantly sent her back at 1 a.m. next day and demanded 140 RMB from her family as a fee for measuring her blood pressure.

On March 29, at 3 p.m., Zhao Beibei was picked up by her family. Before she left, the police threatened her, “If you believe in God again, we will send you straight to prison when we catch you.” Zhao was asked to call the police once a month.

On April 1, at 2 p.m., two policemen of the State Security Brigade sent Zhang Ming home and assigned him a mobile phone. Afterward, the police called Zhang every few days and asked if anyone in the church had contacted him. They urged him to perform well and infiltrate The Church of Almighty God.

After Zhang Ming was released from custody, the whole family dared not speak aloud. His daughter was so scared that she couldn’t eat for a few days. She did not dare to congregate or read God’s word. Later, his son and daughter were afraid to stay at home. They were forced to work away from home. Zhang and his wife were often highly tense. They were so scared that they couldn’t fall asleep at night. They often had nightmares that the Public Security Bureau’s people were coming to arrest them. In order to evade the CCP’s arrest, persecution and harassment, Zhang and his wife were forced to flee their home. Their family was thus split by the CCP and they were forced to live in displacement.

(9) An 80-year-old Man in Chongqing City, Having His House Ransacked, Fell Unconscious While Subjected to Forced Conversion by the Chinese Communist Government

Mr. Guo Hua, 80-year-old, resident of Jiangjin District, Chongqing City, is a Christian from The Church of Almighty God.

On March 23, 2017, at past 11 a.m., six people including policemen and the head of the village committee suddenly came to Guo Hua’s rental house and ransacked about without presenting any credentials. Then the police took Guo into the police car and escorted him home and seized a total of 4 MP5 players, a tablet computer and many copies of books on belief in God, faith-related and evangelical materials. Later, they forcibly confiscated Guo’s mobile phone and took him to a hotel for secret interrogation and indoctrination.

The next day, during interrogation at the police station, Guo Hua experienced a relapse of stomach conditions and lack of blood supply to the brain. The police ignored Guo’s conditions and forcibly escorted him to the interrogation room at the police station for questioning. The policeman told Guo to disclose everything about his belief in God. Due to their dissatisfaction with Guo’s answer, they threatened, “Do you know what place this is? This is the Public Security Bureau. Don’t think you can play dumb because you are old. I tell you, it is the communists’ world nowadays. Whoever disobeys the Communist Party won’t end up well.” Then they transferred Guo to a hotel (their indoctrination base). The police forced Guo to watch defamatory videos of The Church of Almighty God as part of the indoctrination program. They forced Guo to fill out a form to deny and betray God. Guo refused. Under the coercion and threats of the police, Guo experienced a sudden black-out before his eyes, his hand that was holding the pen began to tremble all over. He barely managed to write down his home address before he suddenly collapsed on the bench and fell unconscious.

Fearful of liability, the police called up Guo’s children to send Guo to the hospital. After examination, Guo’s sudden fainting was due to cerebral vascular obstruction caused by fear. At this point, the police had no alternative but to stop the indoctrination that had lasted for five days and released Guo temporarily. Afterward, the elder Guo Hua said with indignation, “The Chinese Communist government’s persecution of those who believe in God is too evil. Even an 80-year-old elder like me was not let off!”

(10) A Christian in Pizhou City, Jiangsu Province, Subjected to Arbitrary Arrest, Naked Interrogation and Torture, Having His House Ransacked

Mr. Wang Chuan, 47-year-old, a resident of Pizhou City, is a Christian from The Church of Almighty God.

On January 3, 2017, at 11 a.m., six policemen came to Wang Chuan’s home in a white sedan. After entering the house, a policeman ordered Wang not to move while the others started to search all over, even the stairs were overturned. An MP3 player and a TF card were seized. The police pursued the source of Wang’s MP3 player, then forcibly handcuffed him and brought him to a hotel in the city for interrogation. About 1 p.m., Wang was escorted to a hotel room where there were a torture-rack, electric batons and other instruments of torture. Wang was petrified after looking at them. Subsequently, the police stripped Wang naked to conduct nude-interrogation. The two policemen from the State Security Branch interrogated Wang on “what his duties were at the church and how many children he has” He threatened, “If you don’t honestly confess, I will lock you up for 3-5 years.” When the police learned that Wang’s eldest daughter was attending a university in Nanjing. They made a call to Nanjing and demanded that Wang’s children not be allowed to attend universities. He followed by asking “For how many years have you believed in God?” and “Who preached the gospel to you?” Wang did not answer. The policeman angrily ordered Wang back facing the torture-rack. The policeman reversely handcuffed Wang’s hands on the two loops of the torture-rack and pulled his legs forward by over 1 meter. His body was suspending in mid-air. The policeman bellowed, “I will make you unable to walk for half-a-month.” Wang was tortured two times like this until he collapsed on the ground, his arms hurting like they were broken.

The next day, the police escorted Wang Chuan to the Public Security Bureau, and then transferred him to the local detention center on January 5. During his detention, the police brought photos of other Christians to Wang for identification. He refused. Later, Wang’s family spent money on pulling some strings. On January 9 at 12 p.m., the police released Wang.

(11) A Christian in Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, Arrested and Tortured for Confession Due to Faith in God

On March 22, 2017, at around 8 p.m., Ms. Wang Chen, 48-year-old, a Christian who lived in Xuzhou City was reported by an informant for believing in God. Three policemen, headed by the deputy director, broke into Wang’s house and escorted her to the police station. The deputy director asked, “Do you believe in Almighty God? Why do you believe?” After Wang Chen answered, the police coaxed her, “You look so smart; how did you do such a foolish thing? Who were you gathering with? Who are the leaders of the church? Where did these books come from? (After Wang was arrested, the police returned to her house and seized dozens of books on belief in God and an MP5 player which was later returned.) You tell me everything and I will send you home by 12 o’clock tonight.” When Wang contended with them, the police threatened her again, “Your son is performing well in the government. If you do not tell honestly, it will affect your son’s future. Everyone there likes him. If you believe in God, the government will ruin his future. The government will even intervene in the future of your children and grandchildren. They will not be able to serve in the military or civil service in the future. Think about it!” Wang retorted: “Why are you not arresting those who embezzle and bribe, who commit rape and prostitution? Why are you arresting us who believe in God instead?” The police bellowed, “The way you behave, don’t expect to go home today.” Then they put Wang in handcuffs and locked her up in an iron cage.

On the morning of March 24, the police escorted Wang Chen to the Public Security Bureau where they pressed her with questions such as “Who are your leaders?” and “What are the sources of these books in faith?” Since she did not reply, the policeman slapped her twice on the face furiously, making her feel dizzy. The policeman viciously treaded on and twisted her toes with their feet in hard leather shoes. Wang burst into cold sweat from the pain, and her toenails almost came off (the pain in her toes persists to date). At 8 p.m., the police brutally pushed Wang on a charged torture-rack. The electric shock jolted her instantly. Her breathing quickened and she passed out. Sweat streamed down her face. The shock caused her to urinate in her pants. When Wang came to half an hour later, the police continued the interrogation without giving her a chance to catch her breath. They shocked her repeatedly. Wang was limp and gasping for breath from the electric shock. She felt like dying. The interrogation lasted until 4 a.m. or so. Concerned that they might have a dead body on their watch, the police opened the torture-rack. Wang Chen fell unconscious on the floor. On the morning of March 25, the captain of the State Security Brigade said, “It is against the law to believe in Almighty God. The government doesn’t permit it.” Wang was then taken to a detention center and detained for 7 days on charge of “believing in a cult.” She was released on the morning of March 31 after paying the living expense of 140 RMB.

In the four months following her release, the police visited Wang Chen 6 times at her home. The captain of the National Security Brigade lured her, “If you turn in the believers of Almighty God, I won’t mistreat you.” Wang Chen resolutely refused. Due to the police’s pressing and persecution, Wang Chen was still unable to attend meetings normally at the publication of this report.

(12) A Christian in Yichun City, Jiangxi Province, Subjected to 6 Arrests and 4 Detainments

Ms. Gu Ziyang (59-year-old, Yichun resident) had actively pursued after believing in the Lord Jesus. She became a preacher at a gathering venue.

First arrest: for Ms. Gu’s belief in the Lord Jesus

One morning in April 1997, due to an informant’s report of her belief in God, Ms. Gu was brought to the police station while transplanting seedlings in the rice field. Upon arriving at the police station, she was questioned by four policemen about her religion. When Madam Gu told the police that she believed in Jesus, Christianity, the police condemned her, “No, you believe in a cult!” Then, they followed by uttering some arbitrary comments that turned black-and-white on its head. When Madam Gu angrily refuted, the police threatened, “You are being dishonest. Today I will send you to prison for several years. See how you will handle it.” Later, the police modified their remarks and asked Madam Gu to pay a fine of 50 RMB, required her to pay it in 10 days, and let her go home. Ten days later, when the police came to her home to collect the fine, they tried to put her in jail, but failed.

The second persecution: After accepting Almighty God’s work in the last days, Madam Gu was arrested and detained for 40 days

On September 14, 2009, at about 8 p.m., Madam Gu was having dinner at home. Suddenly, four policemen broke in, seizing many books of God’s word, a CD player, and more than 20 discs. The police took her to the police station in handcuffs by police car.

After getting off the car, the police reversely cuffed Madam Gu’s hands to the window in the office. A policeman took out an offering receipt she had when she believed in the Lord Jesus and forced her to identify the signature on the receipt. Madam Gu said she did not know the person. The police threatened to make her suffer if she did not tell. When the policeman saw that the interrogation was getting nowhere, he viciously slapped her several times on the face, causing her to be dazzled. Madam Gu said, “Even if you beat me to death, I still don’t know anything.” The policeman walked away angrily. After that, another policeman let her off the window and reversely cuffed her hands to a chair while shackling her right foot to a 50 kilograms steel wheel, making her lose her balance and unable to move her foot. The police repeatedly pressed her for the whereabouts of the money to no avail. Two hours later, another policeman removed the handcuffs and shackle, helped her to a chair and persuaded her to end the suffering by telling them what they wanted. Madam Gu said nothing. At about 1 a.m. next day, several policemen took turns to interrogate her continuously, shifting every two hours. Then they reversely cuffed her hands to the window to let her freeze in the cold wind. A young policeman came to investigate the status of her belief in God. She did not give a definite answer. The policeman responded by ferociously crushing her toes. Madam Gu cried out in pain. She was tortured until 3 a.m. when another group took over the interrogation. The interrogation still did not produce any results. A policeman maliciously stuffed a burning cigarette butt into Madam Gu’s nostril. Seeing her uncomfortable expression as the glowing end of the cigarette was approaching her nose, the policeman laughed out loudly, “Call your God to pull the cigarette butt out!” Madam Gu had to snort several times to expel the cigarette butt. After that, she was handcuffed to the window until 4 p.m. the next day. The police sent Madam Gu to a detention center in imprisonment for 40 days.

The third persecution: While preaching the gospel, Madam Gu was arrested and detained for 15 days

On November 2, 2012, at 8 p.m., Ms. Gu and two Christians (stories reported separately) were reported by village cadres and arrested when they were preaching the gospel in a village. At the police station, a policeman with an electric police baton guarded them, forbidding them to speak and move around. A few hours later, several policemen went to search Madam Gu’s home. Seeing that no one was home, they jumped through the window and broke into the house like a band of bandits and searched everywhere. They turned her house upside down, seizing many books on belief in God, three MP3 players, and a CD-ROM disc. It was past 1 a.m. in the morning when the policemen returned to the police station. After 3 a.m., the police conducted an interrogation on Madam Gu’s personal information and the status of her belief. At about 5 p.m. the next day, the police charged Madam Gu and the two others with the offense of “disrupting public order” and sent them to the detention jail for fifteen days in custody.

The fourth persecution: Madam Gu was arrested at a gathering

On August 3, 2016, at past 4 p.m., Madam Gu’s gathering with the couple Ms. Qiao Shan (60s-year-old) and Mr. Guo Gang (60s-year-old) was reported by an informant. The police seized more than 20 books on belief in God on site. Madam Gu and Guo Gang were dragged into a police car and taken to the police station. Then the police escorted Madam Gu home for a search where they seized many books on belief in God, an MP5 player and a set of materials of belief in God. Then they brought Madam Gu back to the police station for interrogation. During the period, they deprived her of food. At past 11 p.m., feeling cold and hungry in the air-conditioned room, she started to vomit incessantly. After 12 p.m., the police reluctantly released her.

The fifth persecution: Madam Gu was detained for 10 days for no apparent reason

On August 4, 2016, at past 8 a.m., Madam Gu went to get something at Qiao Shan’s home. Barely had she entered the house did a police car stop at the door. When the interrogator saw Madam Gu, he angrily demanded, “Why are you here?” Gu said, “I came for a bike.” The police stopped her from leaving. Then three policemen pulled Gu and Qiao into the police car and took them back to the police station where the police directly sent them to the detention jail without trial for a 10-day detention under the charge of “unlawful belief in God.”

The sixth persecution: Madam Gu was arrested at home for no apparent reason and detained for 10 days

On July 21, 2017, at about 4 p.m., five policemen once again broke into Madam Gu’s home. Upon entering, the police raided the premises and searched everywhere, seizing an MP5 player and a TF card. Afterward, the police questioned Gu what she was doing just now. She replied that she was watching the video about Sichuan earthquake. The police said they had evidence that Gu still believed in God at home. So they dragged her into the police car. An over-70-year-old neighbor denounced the police, “What are you arresting her for? She is just raising chickens and ducks at home every day without breaking the law.” Despite people’s criticisms, the police forcibly brought Madam Gu to the police station. In the interrogation room, the police again questioned about her personal information and the source of the seized player and card. More than an hour into the interrogation, the police coerced her to sign a statement of confession, and forced her to take the player in her hands and took a picture of her. In the evening, the police sent her to the detention center and detained her for 10 days. During this period, a female police officer spoke with Madam Gu in attempt to find out how many people believed in God, where the church was, and other things such as where people were gathering. Madam Gu said nothing about it. Upon her release from prison, a policeman forcibly grabbed her hand to sign her name on a blasphemous document.

Because of the CCP’s incessant persecution and arrests, Madam Gu was deprived of her right to believe in God, perform her duty and assemble normally. In order to evade the police’s tracking and stalking, she could only believe in God at home. Even at home, her belief in God is restricted in many ways, making her feel extremely anguished and depressed.

(13) A Christian in Jiaozuo City, Henan Province, Subjected to 3 Arrests and Detainments, Kept Under Long-term Residential Surveillance for Faith in God

The First Arrest

On September 30, 2014, at about 10 a.m., while Mr. Liu Jie, 45-year-old, a Christian from The Church of Almighty God in Jiaozuo City, Henan Province, was working in his unit, he was taken to the local police station by four plain-clothed agents from the local State Security Brigade.

The police took Liu Jie to an office and said, “Someone has reported that you believe in Almighty God! Let us go to your house and see if there are any books on belief in God. If so, you will have a lot to explain!” Then the police forced Liu Jie to hand over the front door keys, left a policeman behind to guard Liu Jie, and sent the rest straight to Liu Jie’s house by car for a search.

Upon arriving at Liu Jie’s home, two policemen asked Liu’s wife Wang Xin (45-year-old, a Christian) for her name, age, work unit, whether she believed in Almighty God, and made her sign the statement. During the search, when they saw three Christians in Liu’s home, the police called for backup immediately and continued the search. From a Christian’s bag they seized an ID card, handwritten religious hymns, and personal notes. The police interrogated the four separately in situ. During the incident, a policeman even interrogated Liu’s daughter who had just returned from school, “When did the people in your family come here? Where did they come from and what did they do?” The daughter said she did not know. At about 1 p.m., the police took Wang Xin and the other three to the police station. Afterward, two policemen returned to search Liu Jie’s house without finding anything.

When Wang Xin and the other three were taken to the police station, one took a chance and escaped. Because the police did not find any evidence of belief in God in Liu’s home and the interrogation was fruitless, at 4 p.m. the police reluctantly released the four people.

Before they left, the police specifically told Liu Jie, “Don’t talk about this event outside!”

Second Arrest

On October 10, 2014, at about 9 a.m., Liu Jie, who was at work in his unit, was called to the leader’s office. Upon entering, he saw the two policemen from the State Security Brigade who arrested him last time. The leader said to Liu Jie, “You go with them to the police station.” Liu Jie was forcibly escorted by them to the police station.

There the police made Liu Jie compare handwriting and released him afterward.

Third Arrest and Detention

On October 18, 2014, at around 10:30 a.m., five police officers (plain clothes, two women and three men) of the local State Security Brigade came to Liu Jie’s home in two private cars. On the grounds of speaking with Liu Jie about something, they took him to the local police station. Before leaving, the police intimidated his wife, “We are coming for you next time!” (On Oct. 21, 2014, his wife was forced to flee from home to escape the arrest of the Chinese Communist government. She has remained homeless to-date).

At the police station, Liu Jie was interrogated by three police officers. A police officer asked, “How did you start believing in Almighty God? Who preached the gospel to you? Where do you meet? Where are your books? Talk now!” Liu Jie said nothing. Another policeman intimidated Liu Jie, “People in your conditions should be sent to jail. If you don’t speak, we will let you take the iron chair! Damn, pull out your belt!”

Then the police produced a piece of material with the signature of the church leader and the real name of Liu Jie. They lured Liu Jie, “You know about these people, right? Which church do you belong to? Do you belong to the Church of XX (location name)?” When the interrogation produced no results, the police charged him with the offense of “believing in a cult and disrupting public order” and detained him for 10 days at a detention center on October 18, 2014.

At the detention center, the police once again threatened Liu Jie, “If you believe in God again, we’ll send you to jail the next time, and then you will lose your job!”

On October 28, 2014, Liu Jie was released from detention.

After his release, the local police station instructed the leader of Liu Jie’s unit to ask Liu to submit a situation report every day about where he goes and does every day and so on. Since then, Liu Jie has lost his freedom (only one year later did he secretly participated in congregation). To better monitor Liu Jie, the police installed a monitor on the doorway facing the staff’s living building where Liu Jie lives for twenty four-hour monitoring.

In the afternoon of March 17, 2017, two female police officers (plainclothes) from the police station inspected Liu Jie’s home with an excuse.

On March 28, 2017, at 4 p.m., four policemen once again went to Liu Jie’s home, asked about his belief in God and took his pictures.

On June 16, 2017, Liu Jie was summoned to the police office of his unit by the police from the police station. The police questioned him about his wife’s whereabouts without results. Since the police had repeatedly gone to his unit to look for Liu Jie, his colleagues began to reject and isolate him in fear of being implicated, making him feel awkward in the unit.

(Note: In the above cases, except the cases of those persecuted to death, pseudonyms are used to avoid retaliation.)

 

Further distribution and posting welcome. If quoting from this report, please provide proper attribution

1 Interpretation of the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate on Several Issues concerning the Application of Law in the Handling of Criminal Cases involving Sabotaging the Enforcement of Laws by Organizing and Utilizing Cult Organizations”: http://www.spp.gov.cn/zdgz/201701/t20170126_179794.shtml

2 The newly revised “Regulations on Religious Affairs”: http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/content/2017-09/07/content_5223282.htm

3 Zhou Qiang’s speech at the national meeting of the presidents of the higher people’s courts on January 14, 2017: http://m.news.cctv.com/2017/01/14/ARTIWqum00Madjv43F96Mcqh170114.shtml4 The “2017 Main Work Points of the Leading Group of the Henan Provincial Party Committee for Preventing and Dealing with the Problem of Evil Cults”: https://drive.google.com/file/d/12AZJu0PgNq8jheNJM6uQaBOneLlaY5CC/view

5 http://hrwf.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/0330-CAG-List-of-Prisoners_ordered-by-prison-terms.pdf

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