My Days in Captivity
By Yang Qin, China
In July 2006, I accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. My husband was supportive, and he received brothers and sisters who came to our home warmly. But later when he heard believers in Almighty God could face arrest, he asked my cousin about it, who worked in a prosecutor’s office, then came home and said to me, “Your cousin said that the government is cracking down on religion, especially believers in Almighty God. Also, one believer in a home will implicate their entire family. Don’t follow Almighty God anymore—just go to a Three-Self church.” Seeing my husband didn’t understand matters of faith, I told him, “The Three-Self Church was established by the Communist Party. They put patriotism first, then God. They see the Party as greater than God, and that’s not having faith. I’m not going to Three-Self.” He responded helplessly, “I know that believing in Almighty God is a good thing, but you have to see the situation clearly. It’s the Communist Party’s world now, so our jobs can’t be guaranteed if you keep your faith. Are you willing to give up your job at the hospital? Plus we have a mortgage, and we need money to raise our daughter. How can we possibly get by without money? If you’re sentenced to prison, people will look down on me and our daughter will be mocked by her classmates. You have to think of us, too! Give up your faith.” I knew it was inevitable that my husband, as an unbeliever, would have some concerns, so I said to him, “The Communist Party is atheistic and has always persecuted believers. I won’t give up my faith in God because of its persecution. Don’t you know that cowards can’t get into the kingdom of heaven? Disasters are becoming greater and greater now, and the Savior Almighty God has expressed truths and is doing the judgment work of the last days. This is to fully cleanse and save mankind so we can remain through the disasters and be taken into God’s kingdom. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Having faith means temporarily suffering and facing danger, but we can gain the truth and be fully saved. This is what’s most important.” His response was, “Getting into God’s kingdom is a long way off. Living a good life is the most practical thing to do. I don’t care about what may come in the future, and I don’t give that any thought.” After that, seeing I was still attending gatherings and doing a duty, he started a lot of arguments with me, and he said, “Always being in fear is no way to live. If you keep your religion, our family will be split up.” I was thinking that if I continued practicing my faith, our home probably would be broken. My daughter was just nine years old, and not having a complete family would hurt her so much! At the time I really didn’t want to lose my family, but if my husband kept on standing in the way of my faith, how could I do my duty? My daughter, my family, and God—I wasn’t ready to give up a single one. Just as I was feeling conflicted, I remembered the Lord Jesus’ words: “He that loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that takes not his cross, and follows after Me, is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37–38). I thought of all those saints through the ages who gave up everything to spread the gospel and fulfill God’s commission. Since God chose me, allowing me to enjoy so much sustenance from the truth, I had to consider His will. I couldn’t give up my faith and my duty just to keep my family intact. God has incarnated and come to the world to fully save us from Satan’s forces, enduring so much of the great red dragon’s pursuit, rumors and condemnation as well as the religious world’s rejection and slander, and quietly expressing truths to water and sustain us. God’s love for mankind is so great! I’d enjoyed so much from God, all the while treasuring my family and daughter, not thinking of how to repay God’s love. Where was my conscience? At this thought, I felt very indebted to God and resolved that no matter how my husband stood in my way, I’d follow God and spread the gospel to bear witness for God.
After that, the CCP’s oppression of the church got worse and my husband’s opposition intensified. In late 2007, the CCP struck hard against religion and suppressed churches under the guise of maintaining stability for the Olympics. Quite a few brothers and sisters were arrested. One morning in September as I was getting ready to go out and share the gospel, my husband stood in my way and wouldn’t let me leave, called my older brother over, and said, “A few days ago the cousin said that the Communist Party is mobilizing for mass arrests of believers in Almighty God. Once arrested, they’re sentenced. You’ve got to give up your faith.” And my brother also urged me, “I know that faith is a good thing, but the Party doesn’t allow it. An arm can’t wrestle down a leg, so if you must, just believe at home. Stop going out to spread the gospel. What if you’re arrested? I know that you guys want the best for me, but having faith and sharing the gospel is the right thing to do, so that more people can be saved by God. This is the greatest possible good deed. If I stop sharing the gospel to protect myself, wouldn’t that be incredibly selfish?” Surprisingly, once those words left my mouth, my husband kneeled down in front of me. He said, “I’m begging you. For our home, for our child, give up your religion. If you keep your faith, our daughter won’t ever get into college or be able to find a good job. Her future would be ruined! She’s our only child—you have to think of her! If you’re arrested people will be saying nasty things about me. How can I live that way?” Seeing my husband that way, I really didn’t know what to do. He’d always had his pride, but then he was on his knees begging me in front of my brother. Seeing him like that, I thought that insisting on keeping my faith would hurt him even more. And what if the Party revoked my daughter’s right to attend college and she couldn’t get a good job because of my faith? Even my older brother was opposed to my faith, so if my family knew my husband and I weren’t getting along because of my faith, they’d probably stand in my way. That would make it harder for me to follow God. But if I gave in to my husband and told him I’d give up my faith, that would be betraying God. I got more anxious as I thought about it, so I said a silent prayer, asking God to watch over my heart. Just then, a passage of God’s words came to mind: “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God). On the outside it looked like it was family standing in my way, but actually, it was Satan testing me. Having faith and doing a duty, I was on the right path. Satan was using my family to stand in my way and get me to betray God. I couldn’t fall for its tricks, but I had to stand firm in my witness and humiliate it. At that thought, I said to them solemnly, “God rules everything. He arranges our work and our futures, and the Communist Party doesn’t have final say. The rise and fall of countries and political parties is in God’s hands, let alone one person. You guys know that I was really sick before becoming a believer, and I would have died long ago if it hadn’t been for God. God gave me this life and I’ve enjoyed so much from Him. Not having faith or doing a duty would be unconscionable. Would I even be human? Would my life have any meaning?” My brother frowned and said helplessly, “It’s true that you got better after becoming a believer, but we’re living under the Communist Party now, and they arrest believers. Isn’t going out to share the gospel putting yourself in harm’s way?” My husband was off to the side, agreeing. But I insisted on keeping my faith no matter what they said. Seeing I wouldn’t waver, they tried more sinister tactics to stand in my way. One day about a month later the moment I got home from a gathering, my husband came up to me, slapped me twice, and said angrily, “The Party is going crazy arresting believers, but you’re still going to gatherings, insisting on your faith! I’ve respected you all these years, never raising a hand against you. Your brother and his wife say I’ve spoiled you and I should keep you in line, make sure you can’t keep your faith.” I was shocked to see that from him, and I just stared at him in surprise. Not daring to meet my gaze, he lowered his head and said, “I really don’t want to hit you. I don’t want you to be thrown in jail for your faith, this is for your own good.” Hearing this explanation from him was really upsetting. My husband had always been really good to me, but he’d become a tool for the Communist Party, afraid of being persecuted. He was trying everything to get me to betray God. How was that for my own good? Later on he even stopped going to work, seeing I was determined to keep my faith. He followed me everywhere, and wouldn’t let me read God’s words, attend gatherings, or do my duty. There was a lot of work to do in the church then, but I was held captive by him at home, and couldn’t do a duty. I told him he shouldn’t keep me from my faith. I said, “When you supported my faith before, didn’t you see lots of God’s blessings? You almost got into several car accidents, but God protected you from them. How could you oppose God, after all the grace and blessings He’s given us?” He responded, “Your faith was beneficial before, but things have changed. The Party won’t let you go as long as you’re a believer, and our family will suffer as well. We have to get by in life.” Not wanting to be implicated, after that he suggested we get a divorce. It was really chilling for me at the time, but I hated the great red dragon more than anything. He kept oppressing me and raised a hand against me, and then he asked for a divorce. That all came from the Communist Party’s oppression. I remembered this passage from God’s words: “Now is the time: Man has long since gathered all his strength, he has devoted all his efforts and paid every price for this, to tear off the hideous face of this demon and allow people, who have been blinded, and who have endured every manner of suffering and hardship, to rise up from their pain and turn their backs on this evil old devil. 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?” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Work and Entry (8)). The Party is an anti-God, God-hating demon. It arrests and persecutes believers to hinder and wipe out God’s work. It fabricates all sorts of rumors to slander God’s work and fool the people so that they also oppose God and are ultimately ruined. The Party even implicates multiple generations, so a whole family is ruined by one person’s faith. My family supported my faith at first, but the Party’s persecution and rumors led them astray, so they became accomplices, going against God. The Party is so wicked! I thought of another passage of God’s words: “As someone who is normal, and who pursues the love of God, entry into the kingdom to become one of the people of God is your true future, and a life that is of the utmost value and significance; no one is more blessed than you. Why do I say this? Because those who do not believe in God live for the flesh, and they live for Satan, but today you live for God, and live to do the will of God. That is why I say your lives are of the utmost significance. Only this group of people, who have been selected by God, are able to live out a life of the utmost significance: No one else on earth is able to live out a life of such value and meaning” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps). Pondering God’s words was illuminating for me. Now I’ve been chosen by God to come before His throne. I can enjoy so much watering and sustenance from His words, do my duty as a created being, and help more people come before God and gain His salvation. This is the most righteous, most valuable thing. I couldn’t give up my faith and my duty to protect my family. I had to follow God until the end, even if it meant getting a divorce. So, I said to my husband, “I’m committed to taking this path. Since you’re insisting on a divorce, I agree.”
We went to the Civil Affairs Bureau to handle the procedure that very day. Just as I was about to sign the paperwork, my brother and his wife barged in, dragged me into their car without a word and took me to the business they ran. My dad was already there, and he raised his hand to me the moment he saw me. The employees there rushed over to get him to stop. He yelled at me angrily, “I thought the government supported your faith. I didn’t know you could be arrested and your family would be implicated. You can’t believe in this God anymore, and if you do, I’ll disown you.” Seeing how enraged he was, I said to him, “Dad, we were created by God and He rules over all things. Humans should believe in God and worship Him. The CCP doesn’t believe there’s a God. They madly resist Him and have already been punished by Him. Why are disasters so terrible in China? It’s because the Party works against God and persecutes believers. How is there any hope for us if we don’t have faith?” Before I could finish, my brother asked me loudly, “If your faith means losing your family, do you still want to believe?” I said firmly, “There’s nothing wrong with my faith. He wants this divorce—I’m not the one walking away from this family.” My brother yelled angrily, “My friend who works for the government said it has issued a document marking believers in Almighty God as key targets to crack down on. He told us to keep an eye on you and keep you from your faith so we’re not implicated along with you.” Saying this, he picked up a bamboo strip and hit me in the eyes with it while saying, “I’ll teach you for not seeing what’s actually going on!” Seeing my family treat me that way was really painful. I used all of my strength to break free from their grasp and I ran out. Walking back home, I just kept crying and crying. I felt so helpless and alone and I really didn’t know how to stay on this path. In tears, I prayed to God, “Oh God, now my whole family is against me, standing in my way, telling me I can’t have faith. It’s really hard for me. God, please guide me to understand Your will and know how to get through this situation.” I thought of a passage of God’s words after praying. “Perhaps you all remember these words: ‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.’ You have all heard these words before, yet none of you understood their true meaning. Today, you are profoundly aware of their true significance. These words shall be fulfilled by God during the last days, and they shall be fulfilled in those who have been brutally persecuted by the great red dragon in the land where it lies coiled. The great red dragon persecutes God and is the enemy of God, and so, in this land, those who believe in God are thus subjected to humiliation and oppression, and these words are fulfilled in you, this group of people, as a result. Because it is embarked upon in a land that opposes God, all of God’s work faces tremendous obstacles, and accomplishing many of His words takes time; thus, people are refined as a result of God’s words, which is also part of suffering. It is tremendously difficult for God to carry out His work in the land of the great red dragon—but it is through this difficulty that God does one stage of His work, making manifest His wisdom and His wondrous deeds, and using this opportunity to make this group of people complete” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Is the Work of God As Simple As Man Imagines?). Through God’s words I understood that God working in the great red dragon’s country in the last days, where He’s most opposed, those of us who follow Him are certain to be oppressed and rejected. God works this way so we can see through the great red dragon and its evil, anti-God essence, not be taken in by it anymore. It’s also to perfect our faith so we can learn to lean on God through hardship, then we can follow God without being held back by Satan’s forces, and have true faith. But I felt having faith was too hard after a tiny bit of suffering. I was living in negativity and wanted to escape the situation. I really lacked faith. Facing those problems, I had to accept them from God, pray and seek the truth, and stand witness for God. That was what I needed to do as a created being. I didn’t feel as miserable once I understood God’s will. Later I learned my husband didn’t actually want a divorce, but he talked about it with my family and they thought they’d force me to give up my faith that way.
One day soon after that, my husband said he would drive me to go shopping, but suddenly he got on the freeway, then went straight to a mental hospital. He took me into the diagnostic room and said to the doctor, “She believes in Almighty God and has been evangelizing. You need to lock her up and keep her away from other believers. It’s just like a detox. She can come out when she’s free of her faith and won’t evangelize.” I felt thoroughly chilled when I heard him say that. He put me in with mental patients to stop me from believing in God. Being locked up there could drive a person crazy! I said to the doctor right away, “I’m also a doctor. First evaluate my mental health to confirm if I should be admitted to the hospital.” Then I gave the doctor a very organized rundown of how I’d handled all our household’s affairs for the last several years. After hearing me out, the doctor told my husband, “She’s not mentally ill. We can’t admit her. If you insist on leaving her here, we can’t guarantee her safety.” My husband kept insisting that the doctor take me in. I said, “If you insist on locking me up, I’ll commit suicide here.” Afraid he’d be responsible, the doctor didn’t dare admit me. My husband took me back home, unable to do anything.
I saw clearly from what happened then that my husband claimed to do things for me, but that was fake. He was protecting his own interests, hurting me and humiliating me time after time. He even wanted to institutionalize me. He was capable of anything at all to keep me from my faith. He went against God along with the Party, proving he also loved evil, adulated power, and hated the truth. God’s words say, “Believers and unbelievers are not compatible; rather, they are opposed to one another” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together). We were on two different paths. I became totally disillusioned with him and didn’t get a divorce only for the sake of our child. After going home from the mental hospital, he was always arguing with me or berating me, and insisting I give up my faith. Especially as the Olympics were approaching, my cousin said the government was focused on arresting believers in Almighty God, they were punished harshly, and no one could bail them out. My husband kept more of an eye on me and followed me closely. He had me under house arrest for 11 days. There was no way for me to practice my faith at home—I had to leave to do that and perform a duty. But I really couldn’t bear to part with my daughter. If I left, it would be so hard for my daughter! If I wasn’t by her side and there was no one to take care of her, what if she turned out poorly? I couldn’t stop my tears from flowing when I thought of that. Just as I reached a real point of misery, I thought of a passage of God’s words. “You must suffer hardship for the truth, you must give yourself to the truth, you must endure humiliation for the truth, and to gain more of the truth you must undergo more suffering. This is what you should do. You must not throw away the truth for the sake of a peaceful family life, and you must not lose your life’s dignity and integrity for the sake of momentary enjoyment. You should pursue all that is beautiful and good, and you should pursue a path in life that is more meaningful. If you lead such a vulgar life, and do not pursue any objectives, do you not waste your life? What can you gain from such a life? You should forsake all enjoyments of the flesh for the sake of one truth, and should not throw away all truths for the sake of a little enjoyment. People like this have no integrity or dignity; there is no meaning to their existence!” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment). After reading God’s words, I thought back over my years of faith. Satan was always using my relatives to oppress and disrupt me, to get me to leave and betray God. I was with my family, but I wasn’t happy and my husband wouldn’t let me read God’s words or share the gospel and do my duty. That was a painful way to live. God arranged for me to be born in the last days and accept His gospel so I could pursue the truth, gain God’s salvation, and do my duty as a created being. That was what I should pursue. I thought of God’s words: “The fate of man is controlled by the hands of God. You are incapable of controlling yourself: Despite man always rushing and busying himself on his own behalf, he remains incapable of controlling himself. If you could know your own prospects, if you could control your own fate, would you still be a created being?” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination). It’s true. For every person that comes into this world, God determined long ago what path we’d take and how much we’d suffer. No one can help anyone else. I gave birth to my daughter, but her life was in God’s hands. God decided ages ago how much she’d suffer and how much she’d be blessed. Even if I was by her side, I couldn’t take on any of her suffering for her. I didn’t even have control over my own fate, so how could I have control over her fate? I just had to entrust my daughter to God and submit to His rule. Then one day, I snuck out of the house while my husband was asleep.
To my surprise, just a couple weeks after I left home, a leader told me my husband was causing problems with brothers and sisters every day and said if I didn’t go back, he’d report them to the police. I had to go back home so they wouldn’t get in trouble. That time, my husband kept a closer eye on me. He kept me inside and stayed within a few feet of me. He locked the door from the outside and hid the key, too. He would follow me and keep an eye on me, even when I was cooking or using the bathroom. He kept the TV on, morning till night, and forced me to watch the news and patriotic movies with him every day, and he said he wanted to brainwash me. My husband said my cousin told him not to give me any chances to pray or read God’s words. He had to keep feeding me what was on TV so I didn’t have the chance to think about religion, and that was how to get me to give up my faith. He also told me that he couldn’t give me a moment of peace, because the moment I prayed, my God would give me a way out, then I’d go to gatherings and evangelize again. Angrily, I told him, “I have freedom of faith. Why are you following the Party, oppressing me and stripping me of my own personal freedom? You’ve enjoyed plenty of God’s grace from my faith, and you’ve seen God’s deeds. Now you’re standing in my way and oppressing me. It’s not just oppressing me, but it’s going against God!” I was surprised when he yelled back, “I’m going against God, so have Him come punish me!” I was so shocked to hear him say that. How could he say that? He’d lost all reason. And so, I was locked up by him for another week or so, unable to even leave the house. I couldn’t read God’s words, go to gatherings, or do my duty. I was living in misery—I had no appetite and couldn’t sleep. I was really in pain at the time, and I was thinking that everyone else was doing a duty but I was locked up at home by my husband and couldn’t even pray to God. If that went on, wouldn’t I grow farther and farther from God? My family members were all on my husband’s side, oppressing me, and I could hardly take it anymore. I felt worse the more I thought about it, and I felt so alone and helpless.
One evening when my husband was asleep, I said a silent prayer to God. It was, “God, I’m being held captive at home by my husband and I can’t read Your words. I’m feeling really weak. Oh God, my stature is so small, please give me faith and strength.” I thought of a passage of His words after praying. “Those whom God refers to as ‘overcomers’ are those who are still able to stand witness and maintain their confidence and devotion to God when under the influence of Satan and while being laid siege to by Satan, that is, when they find themselves amidst the forces of darkness. If you are still able to keep a pure heart before God and maintain your genuine love for God no matter what, then you are standing witness in front of God, and this is what God refers to as being an ‘overcomer’” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Should Maintain Your Devotion to God). God’s words showed me that in the last days He wants to complete a group of overcomers, and under Satan’s attacks and persecution, they won’t fold to the oppression of the dark forces, but will be able to maintain their faith and devotion to God. I didn’t feel as miserable once I understood God’s intentions. I felt ready to submit and learn a lesson. No matter how my husband blocked and oppressed me, I’d stand firm and satisfy God. Later, when my husband was asleep, I’d think about God’s words, silently pray or sing a hymn to myself, and that brought me some joy. On the nineteenth day of my house arrest, my husband would get headaches, bellyaches, backaches the moment he picked a fight with me. The angrier he was the more it hurt, to the point he was crying out in pain. He didn’t dare argue with me anymore. Then he said, at his wits’ end, “I can’t take it anymore! I’ve kept you locked up this long, but you’re more and more energized. I’m the one being driven crazy.” The next day, he locked me into the house and went to work. I happened to find a key and was so grateful to God that I could finally attend gatherings. That really was God opening up a path.
My husband didn’t watch me as strictly after that. The times he got really tough, he’d get sick and his neck would hurt him terribly. One day in March 2012, he told me, “All these years I’ve wanted you to choose between our family and your faith. You haven’t given up your faith. Let’s put an end to this today. There are two paths ahead of you. If you stay in this house, you can’t follow God, and if you follow God, you can never come back to this house.” I said to him very firmly, “I’ve chosen the path of following God, so I’ll never turn back from that.” Then I packed my bags and left home. I was finally freed from my husband’s restrictions, and could follow my faith and do my duty in peace. I thank Almighty God!
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