A Day Never to Be Forgotten
By Li Qing, China
It was December 2012, at around 9 in the morning I was spreading the gospel with some brothers and sisters when a police car pulled up in front of us. Without showing any ID, an officer twisted my arms and shoved me into his car. Another sister and brother were also cuffed and put in the car. My heart was racing and I didn’t know what the police planned to do with us. If I couldn’t take the torture and became a Judas, my days as a believer would be over. I hurriedly prayed to God, asking Him to protect my heart and vowing that I’d die before becoming a Judas and betraying my brothers and sisters. After prayer, I didn’t feel as nervous.
When we got to the police station, we were separated and interrogated individually. One of the police harshly questioned me: “Who is your leader? Where do you live?” I said: “I don’t know who my leader is. I haven’t broken any laws, why was I arrested?” They howled with laughter and said: “What do you know about law? Did you get permission from the central government to spread the gospel? Did the Religious Affairs Bureau give you the OK? You were doing illegal missionary work and disturbing public order. We should send you to the Religious Affairs Bureau and have them deal with you!” Another officer said: “As long as you cooperate with us, we’ll let you go.” I just ignored them. Then an officer that was standing by the entrance ran into the room and kicked me hard on my right calf. It hurt so much that I thought the bones in my calf had broken. He kicked me so hard that he almost lost his balance and the other officers started to laugh. He stood up and took out his anger on me by slapping me in the face. He hit me so hard I saw stars, and I felt so dizzy that I almost fell over. Soon after, the right side of my face started to swell up. He then stamped hard on my right calf again, kicking me into a corner of the room. I crouched on the ground in tears. Then he threateningly wound up to kick me in the back. I was very scared. Could I take another kick from this officer? What if he injured my back? I was so scared that I started to cry. Just then, a few of the other officers held him back. Another officer addressed me in a gentler tone, saying: “Listen sweetie, we don’t want to treat you like this. All you have to do is tell us your address, and we’ll let you go.” I thought to myself: “My parents both believe in God and are fulfilling duties. If I tell them my address, my parents will get drawn into this too. If the brothers and sisters happened to be gathering at my house and were all arrested, I’ll have committed evil.” So I didn’t say anything. Then one of the officers told everyone else to leave because he wanted to speak with me alone. He asked me: “Do you want to get out of here? If you do, just tell us your address. Or you can cooperate with us, and become our informant. Infiltrate the top ranks of the church for us, and we’ll work together. As long as you agree, we’ll let you go.” When he saw I was ignoring him, he seemed to have another idea and said: “It’s only the two of us in here now. I know you probably can’t point out other members to their faces, so I can hide your identity. We’ll take my car out on the road, and all you have to do is point with your finger at one of your brothers and sisters. As long as you point out another member to replace you, we’ll let you go! What do you say?” Seeing that officer’s ugly face, I felt disgusted. I thought to myself: “It might just be the two of us in here, but God’s Spirit scrutinizes all things. You can fool other people, but you can never fool God. If you think I’m going to become an informant, sell out my brothers and sisters and betray God, you can think again!” I firmly replied: “I don’t know anyone!” He then threatened me saying: “Are you trying to protect someone? Do your parents believe in God too? The people arrested with you already told us all about you. We know everything we need to know about you. I’m giving you an opportunity here to come clean. If you don’t tell us anything, you won’t have it nearly as easy in prison. They’ll force you to drink hot pepper water, clamp your fingers with bamboo sticks, insert needles under your fingernails, stick bamboo skewers in your ears and tell the other inmates to bully you. It’ll be like a living hell!” His description sent shivers down my spine, I was absolutely terrified. I thought to myself: “Did they really sell me out? If the police really stick bamboo skewers in my ears, won’t I go deaf? Clamping my fingers with bamboo sticks, sticking needles under my nails—the fingers are really sensitive, that must be incredibly painful! If they really sent me to prison and tortured me, could a skinny, little girl like me really withstand all that? Or would I die in there? I’m only 20 years old, my life is just beginning. I don’t want to die yet. Maybe I could just tell them something trivial to satisfy their demands.” I was feeling very upset and uncertain. I knew clearly in my heart, “Being arrested and persecuted is a kind of trial and a test. God is watching, the angels are watching, and Satan is watching too. If I just tell them a little, they’ll be sure to ask more follow-up questions. If they’re this cruel to a little girl like me, who knows how brutal they’ll be with my brothers and sisters! I can’t betray my conscience and only think of myself. I can’t become Satan’s lackey and betray God. No matter whether or not the other sisters and brothers betrayed me, I must stand firm. Even if it means going to prison and being tortured, I cannot betray God.”
After that, no matter how they interrogated me, I always said I didn’t know. One of the officers got so angry he slammed the table and yelled: “I guess we’re going to have to do this the hard way!” Then another officer put me in handcuffs, grabbed a hold of my hair and tugged back hard. Then three or four other officers piled on and started punching and kicking me. They kicked my calves especially and punched me in the head, stomach and back. One of the officers punched me so hard in the stomach that I curled up in a ball in the corner of the room and started crying. An officer asked me: “So, are you gonna talk now?” I glared at him, and he slapped me hard across the face. Another officer picked me up by the collar, bashed my head against the wall and a metal cabinet and choked me around the neck. It was so painful I could barely breathe. It was only when I looked like I was about to go under that the officer beside me told him to stop. I collapsed on the floor, gasping for air. I thought of how the police don’t dare go after the evil in our society, but when it comes to us believers, they’ll torture, beat and even kill us for no reason at all. I cried out in my heart: “Is there any justice in this world? How do they call themselves ‘people’s police’?” Just then, I recalled a hymn of God’s words: “For thousands of years this has been the land of filth. It is unbearably dirty, misery abounds, ghosts run rampant everywhere, tricking and deceiving, making groundless accusations, being ruthless and vicious, trampling this ghost town and leaving it littered with dead bodies; the stench of decay covers the land and pervades the air, and it is heavily guarded. Who can see the world beyond the skies? How could the people of a ghost town such as this ever have seen God? Have they ever enjoyed the dearness and loveliness of God? What appreciation have they of the matters of the human world? Who of them can understand God’s eager will? Why put up such an impenetrable obstacle to the work of God? Why employ various tricks to deceive God’s folk? Where is the true freedom and the legitimate rights and interests? Where is the fairness? Where is the comfort? Where is the warmth? Why use deceitful schemes to trick God’s people? Why use force to suppress the coming of God? Why hound God until He has nowhere to rest His head? How could this not incite fury?” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs, Those in Darkness Should Rise Up). In the past, I didn’t have any discernment of the CCP. In their textbooks, the CCP claimed to support freedom of religion, and so I believed them without questioning, even singing their praises. Only after being persecuted by the CCP did I see them for what they really are. The CCP claims they support religious freedom in order to deceive the people, but in reality they are wildly resisting God and persecuting Christians. Almighty God has come to express the truth and save mankind from Satan’s corruption and torment, guiding us onto the right path in life. This is an incredible thing, but the CCP persecutes us and orders officers to specifically arrest and brutalize believers in God. The CCP is truly evil! It is a God-hating, God-resisting demon!
They then cuffed me behind my back for half an hour and made me stand in a squat or kneel on my knees. When I didn’t kneel, two officers grabbed my arms, and a third officer bore down on the small of my knee with one of his knees, forcing me to kneel. I was tortured to the point of exhaustion and knelt on the ground facing the wall. I thought of how they wouldn’t let me go easily if they didn’t get some information on the church from me. I’d only been in there for two hours and I’d already been tortured to the point of exhaustion and full-body pain. I wondered how much torture was still in store for me and if I’d be able to take it. I felt like a little sheep that had suddenly come upon a pack of wolves and might be devoured at any time. I was very upset and scared. I continually prayed to God in my heart: “Dear God, I feel very weak in my resolve. I don’t know how much longer I can hold out. Oh God, I don’t understand what Your intention for me is in this situation. Please guide me.” Just then, a line of God’s words came to mind: “It is only from within your faith that you will be able to see God, and when you have faith God will perfect you” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement). It was suddenly all clear to me. God hoped that I could keep my faith in Him while experiencing hardship. I sang this hymn in my head: “While undergoing trials, it is normal for people to be weak, or to have negativity within them, or to lack clarity on God’s will or their path for practice. But in any case, you must have faith in God’s work, and not deny God, just like Job. Although Job was weak and cursed the day of his own birth, he did not deny that all things in human life were bestowed by Jehovah, and that Jehovah is also the One to take them all away. No matter how he was tested, he maintained this belief. In your experience, no matter what refinement you undergo through God’s words, what God requires of mankind, in brief, is their faith and their love for Him. What He perfects by working in this way is people’s faith, love, and aspirations. God does the work of perfection on people, and they cannot see it, cannot feel it; under such circumstances, your faith is required. People’s faith is required when something cannot be seen by the naked eye, and your faith is required when you cannot let go of your own notions. When you do not have clarity about God’s work, what is required of you is to have faith and to take a firm stance and stand witness. When Job reached this point, God appeared to him and spoke to him. That is, it is only from within your faith that you will be able to see God, and when you have faith God will perfect you” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs, Trials Call for Faith). After singing the hymn, my face was covered in tears. I thought of how when Job went through his trial, losing his children and all his possessions, and breaking out in boils all over his body, he experienced extreme physical and emotional suffering. Faced with this trial, Job was initially unclear about God’s intentions, and he felt incredibly anguished and upset, but he had great reverence for God. He didn’t chase after the burglars or complain. He first came before God, praying to and seeking Him. Finally he said: “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21), bearing a shining testimony. Through this, I realized God’s intention. God uses these situations to perfect my faith. I should learn from the story of Job and have faith in God, pray to God and rely upon Him to stand witness.
After making me kneel for more than 10 minutes, the police ordered me to stand up. A tall officer grabbed my hair and yanked my head upwards so that only the tips of my toes touched the ground. There was a searing pain like my scalp had been ripped from my head. He ripped off a patch of hair and threw it in the trash. Blood started to ooze from the roots. Then he started grinding and crushing my left toes with his shoes, and standing on the insteps of my feet with all his weight. It hurt so much that I thought the bones in my feet might be broken and so I pushed him away. He saw how much it was hurting me and so he stood on the insteps of my feet again. My legs started shaking and I automatically crouched down, but he pulled me up, put my hands up against the wall and continued to stand on my feet. I broke out in a cold sweat and my whole body started to sink, but he held on to me tightly, not letting me crouch down. That was the first time I thought I’d rather die than endure this pain. It was only when my left foot made a brittle cracking sound that he finally stopped. I thought my foot had broken, but really it was just fine. I knew that God had taken pity on me for my weakness and was protecting me. I thanked God from the bottom of my heart. Then an officer who looked to be about 20 years old came in and seductively asked me: “How old are you? Do you have a boyfriend? If you don’t want to talk, that’s fine. But the sooner you talk, the sooner we’ll let you go. And at night I’ll come see you.” Then he came up close to me and said: “What kind of things do you think a boy and girl would do all alone in an empty room?” He said a lot of other very dirty and indecent things to me. Then a female officer came in and said with an icy smile: “If she doesn’t talk, just rip off all her clothes and make her stand naked in a crowded intersection with a sign around her neck so everyone can see her. Then post her naked pictures online and see if she’ll still dare to go out in public! She’ll be shamed for life!” As she spoke, she undid my handcuffs and started taking off my down coat. I was very scared. I thought she might have some sympathy for me as a woman, but it turned out she was just as evil as the male officer. Another male officer started rubbing his hand on my waist and said: “You’ve got a pretty nice body.” The other officers all broke out in lewd laughter. The sound of their laughter seemed like it came up straight from hell. I was so scared that I was almost in tears, thinking, “There is nothing these officers won’t do. If they really stripped off all of my clothing, how could I live on in such shame? It would be better to die than to have to live in such humiliation.” I saw that there was no guardrail on the window in front of the table, and I thought about jumping out of it. When they noticed I was thinking of jumping out, they locked the window, and so I banged my head on the wall as hard as I could. An officer pressed me up against the wall so I couldn’t move and angrily yelled: “You want to die? We can’t let you off that easy. I’m going to make your life a living hell!” I wanted to die, but they wouldn’t let me. I was in utter agony. Just then, a hymn of God’s words came to mind: “During these last days you must bear testimony to God. No matter how great your suffering, you should walk until the very end, and even at your last breath, still you must be faithful to God and at the mercy of God; only this is truly loving God, and only this is the strong and resounding testimony” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs, Seek to Love God No Matter How Great Your Suffering). I understood God’s intention. God wanted me to live to stand witness for Him. Wanting to die after suffering just a little was not the behavior of someone who loves God. This was the behavior of a cowardly, useless person. I had to keep on living! If they really did strip off all my clothing and hang me from the police station’s gate, this was evidence of their persecution of Christians. After thinking of this, I didn’t want to die anymore. Then, an officer surnamed Xie gave me a lustful stare and said: “You’re pretty easy on the eyes. Just 20 years old huh? You don’t have a boyfriend yet? I’d like to see if you’re still a virgin.” As he spoke, he drew near me and pressed himself up against me, touching my face and chin. I was frightened and pushed him away. He staggered backwards and clipped himself on the side of the table, and then got angry and rushed over to me, pinning my hands to the wall. He kissed me all over my face and neck. I was so upset that I screamed out. A few of the officers looking on roared with laughter at the sight of my struggle. To protect myself from being violated, I kicked at him and didn’t let him come near. Another officer used his camera to start taking pictures of me. He said: “How dare you hit an officer!” He made me absolutely enraged. They were all ganging up on me, but they tried to accuse me of hitting them? Weren’t they inverting the truth? But I also thought, “If I fight back and they take a picture, they can post the picture online and use it to discredit and frame the Church. Won’t this humiliate God?” I didn’t want them to have anything on the Church, so I had to choke back my tears and silently endure their torment. In the end, they didn’t get the picture they wanted and so they left.
Officer Xie had another male officer cuff me and pin my arms on the wall. He stepped on my feet, unzipped my down coat, and started touching me all over my back and waist. My hands and feet were all pinned down, so I had no way of fighting back. I was so upset that I began sobbing. Only when Officer Xie’s girlfriend came in did he finally let up. A little while later, Officer Xie came back in and pounced on me like he was possessed. There was no one else in the room at the time. He pinned my legs together tightly and wrapped his arms around me, touching me all over. He even took off my pants. I was terribly afraid and held my waistband tightly. He savagely slapped me across the face and I cried out. He put his hand over my mouth and nose. I couldn’t breathe, and the more I struggled the weaker I became. This was exactly how I’d seen rapists treat their victims on TV. I was incredibly frightened and felt hopeless. Angry and exasperated, Officer Xie yelled: “Scream! Scream as loud as you can! Let’s see if your God comes to rescue you.” His shamelessness and evil made me so angry, but he had also reminded me of something. Why hadn’t I been praying to and relying on God? Only God could save me. I hurriedly prayed to God: “Dear God, I don’t want to be trampled on by Satan. Please rescue me, please rescue me!” Just as I was making my urgent plea to God, Officer Xie released his grip on my nose and mouth and I took in a deep breath. I immediately let out a scream and several officers in the adjacent room heard and came over. Only then did he let me go. I collapsed on the floor, thinking back on what had just happened. If it hadn’t been for God’s protection, I would have been raped. I thanked God in my heart.
That day at noon, seven or eight officers came in. When I didn’t cooperate with them, the station chief came over to me and twisted my ear while pinching the back of my neck. It hurt badly and I ducked down. He laughed at me, saying: “Tucking your head in like a turtle huh?” The others also joined in making fun of me. They surrounded me and started pushing me around like a ball. Two of the officers even seized the chance to pinch my chest and waist. They were such a bunch of savages! I gritted my teeth with anger and wanted to fight back. If I hadn’t gone through all this myself, I never would have believed that these were the “people’s police” that our textbooks and television shows claimed “served the people” and “fought for justice.” I couldn’t take it any longer and I yelled at them, saying: “Would real men bully a little girl?” They quit as soon as I said that. A little while later, a police offer held a gun to my temple and threatened me saying: “I could shoot you right now! When we catch you believers, we can kill you with no consequences. We can shoot you right away. Once you’re dead, we just take you out and bury you. If you have any last words, say them now!” As he spoke, he loaded the gun with a bullet. When I saw he wasn’t kidding around, I got so scared my legs turned to jelly. I thought to myself: “Is my life really ending at such a young age? I’ve been so lucky to be present for God’s incarnation and salvation of mankind in the last days, but now I’m going to die before witnessing the spectacle of the kingdom gospel’s spreading throughout the universe and achieving a change in disposition? That’s hard to take.” Just then, I thought of how the Lord Jesus said: “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). That’s right, the great red dragon can only ravage and torture my flesh, it can’t destroy my soul. It is just a paper tiger. On the surface it looks intimidating, but no matter how frenzied it becomes, it is always in God’s hands. It wouldn’t dare do anything to me without God’s permission. I thought of how Peter had been crucified upside down for God in his pursuit of loving Him. When he was crucified, he prayed to God saying: “O God! Your time has now arrived; the time You prepared for me has arrived. I must be crucified for You, I must bear this testimony to You, and I hope that my love can satisfy Your requirements, and that it can become purer. Today, to be able to die for You, and be nailed to the cross for You, is comforting and reassuring to me, for nothing is more gratifying to me than to be able to be crucified for You and satisfy Your wishes, and to be able to give myself to You, to offer up my life to You” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment). Peter’s prayer was very illuminating for me. I felt much closer to God and no longer feared death. I thought of how God had been protecting me ever since I was arrested and how when Satan was tempting me, it was God’s words that guided me to see through its plot. When I was weak, He gave me faith and strength, and when I was in danger, God arranged things so that I wouldn’t be trampled by Satan. God’s love for me is so profound! To repay God’s love, Peter was crucified upside down. I’d enjoyed so much of God’s love, but I’d never repaid Him. I might not have Peter’s stature, but I was willing to take him as a model. It would be my honor to die for God today. I was deeply moved by God’s love and I silently prayed to God saying: “Oh God, I owe You so much. In my life, I’ve never earnestly sought the truth or sought to love You. If I ever return to this world, I will still believe in You, follow You and repay Your love!” Some of the officers saw I was crying and, thinking I was scared, said: “This is your last chance. Do you have any parting words? Speak now!” I said, “Everyone eventually dies. I am dying because I’m being persecuted for righteousness’ sake, so I have no regrets.” After I said that, I closed my eyes and waited for the gun to fire. The officer got so angry his hand started shaking and he said: “Your wish is my command!” He told me to turn my head to the side, then he aimed the gun at my temple and fired a few shots, but somehow I didn’t die. Then I realized he had taken out the bullet. Another officer slammed his hands on the table and said: “Do you think you’re Liu Hulan or something? No matter what we do to you, nothing seems to work!” They prodded my temple and smacked me over the head with the gun, saying: “Go ahead and cry. Why aren’t you crying?” I thought of the hymn of life experience that says: “Though our heads may break and our blood may flow, the backbones of God’s people can’t be bent” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs, I Wish to See the Day of God’s Glory). Before, when faced with their torture and threats, I just cried and cried to try to gain their sympathy. I realized I had no faith in God. I was groveling before Satan and lacked resolve. I couldn’t humiliate God anymore with my spinelessness. So I dried my tears, clenched my fists, and resolved to fight it out with Satan until the bloody end! I sang the hymn “I Wish to See the Day of God’s Glory” in my head: “I’ll offer up my love and loyalty to God and complete my mission to glorify Him. I’m determined to stand firm in my testimony to God, and never give in to Satan. Though our heads may break and our blood may flow, the backbones of God’s people can’t be bent. With God’s exhortations strapped to my heart, I determine to humiliate Satan the devil. Pain and hardships are predestined by God. I will be faithful and obedient to Him unto death. I will never again cause God to weep and never again cause Him to worry” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs).
Some of the officers saw me clenching my fists tightly and seethed with anger: “She’s more like Liu Hulan than Liu Hulan!” Seeing Satan frustrated and out of options, I knew that it was humiliated. I truly understood what God meant when He said: “When people are ready to sacrifice their lives, everything becomes trifling, and no one can get the better of them. What could be more important than life? Thus, Satan becomes incapable of doing any more in people, there is nothing it can do with man” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe, Chapter 36). Man’s Achilles’ heel is his fear of death. Satan knew about my Achilles’ heel and used it to threaten me and stop me from believing in and following God. But God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s plots. When I gave my life over to God, Satan became powerless, it failed and was humiliated. At noon, some of the officers went to eat while three remained to monitor me. One officer came over to me and, affecting a plastic smile, asked me: “Why don’t you cry?” I said: “I don’t have anything to cry about.” He said: “If you don’t cry, we’ll give you something to cry about.” As he spoke, he picked up a black bottle. He pried open my eyes and sprayed a chemical into my mouth and eyes, while another officer pinned me by my arms and head. Immediately my eyes began to burn and water and I couldn’t keep them open. The tears stung painfully on my cheeks and my throat also stung from the chemical I’d swallowed. It hurt so much I couldn’t even speak and I kept having to spit. He also threatened me saying that this was a kind of poison and it would kill me in half an hour. The third officer grabbed me by the handcuffs and took me to a different room. By then I was able to open my eyes a little and so they sprayed me with more of the chemical. Then they handcuffed me to the other brothers and sisters I’d been arrested with, turned a fan to its highest setting and opened all the windows. He was wearing a big parka and a heater warmed his feet. He laughed heartily and said: “Nice and toasty right?” It was the dead of winter and my hands and feet quickly went cold. Just then, I heard one of the sisters begin to tap her feet and quietly sing a song. I listened closely and realized that she was singing a hymn of experience in praise of God. I also started tapping my foot to the beat. As I sang, I felt my strength restored, and I thought: “No matter how they torture me, I’ll keep going regardless. Even if it means my death, I will stand witness to satisfy God!” To my surprise, they let us go at around three in the afternoon. It turned out that during that time they had arrested so many brothers and sisters there was no room left in the detention center or the jail. When they found that they weren’t getting any relevant information from us and didn’t know where any of our addresses were, they just let us go. I knew, though, that this was God’s mercy. He had given us a way out. I thanked God in my heart.
During my arrest and persecution by the CCP, my flesh suffered a little and I was humiliated, but I gained a real discernment of the evil essence of the CCP. I clearly saw that the CCP is just a God-hating and God-resisting demon. As long as the great red dragon is in power, Satan is in power, brutalizing and corrupting all people. I renounced and turned away from the great red dragon in my heart and looked forward to the day that Christ and justice would come to power. I hoped that Christ’s kingdom would be realized soon and had even more faith to follow God until the very end.
1. “Making groundless accusations” refers to the methods by which the devil harms people.
2. “Heavily guarded” indicates that the methods by which the devil afflicts people are especially vicious, and control people so much that they have no room to move.
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