Tortured and Humiliated for My Faith
By Li Ping, China
In 2006, I was working in book printing for the church. On July 31, I was in the printing company checking printed copies of the words of God, when I suddenly saw five strangers entering. I had a bad feeling, so I got ready to leave, but three of them surrounded me and said, “Come with us.” That’s when I realized these were police officers. Before I could come to my senses, two of them grabbed my hands and pinned them behind my back, then pushed me forward, while the others seized the copies of the words of God. Seeing so many boxes of words of God confiscated by the police made my heart suffer. I also panicked and thought, “What if someone from the printing company tells them that they were printing books for me? The CCP hates nothing more than when we print books of. Not long ago, a sister was arrested while delivering copies of the words of God, and to this day, we don’t know whether she’s alive or dead. I am in the Communist Party’s hands now, I don’t know what would happen to me next.” I just kept praying in my heart: “God! You have allowed me to get arrested today. I only want to place myself in Your hands. Please give me faith and strength. No matter how much pain and torture I must endure, I do not want to be like Judas. I won’t betray You.” After praying, I didn’t feel as scared anymore. I was willing to rely on God for support with what lay ahead.
Afterward, the police brought me to the Public Security Bureau. After we arrived, I asked to use the toilet, but an officer stepped forward and slapped me across the face and yelled, “What toilet? Take her in!” I was dizzy from being hit, couldn’t see straight, and lost control of my bladder. Afterward, two officers shoved me into a room. I thought, “I’m not sure how much information they’ve collected against me. How will they torture me? Will I be able to endure it?” I just kept praying to God and asked Him to give me faith and strength. After praying, I remembered the words of God: “Believe that God is your almighty! You must have a tremendous aspiration for God, ravenously seeking while refusing Satan’s excuses, intentions, and tricks. Do not despair. Do not be weak. Seek with all your heart; wait with all your heart. Actively cooperate with God, and rid yourself of your internal hindrances” (God’s Fellowship). With the guidance of God’s words, my heart gradually calmed down. God is all-powerful. With His support, I had nothing to fear. I needed to pray and rely on God and trust that He would lead me. Thinking about this gave me faith and strength to face my circumstances.
The room had an iron bunk bed. They handcuffed my right hand to the upper bunk, which was taller than me. I could only stand in one position—it was terribly uncomfortable. One officer asked me, “Who is your leader? How do you communicate? Where do you send these copies of God’s words after you print them?” I didn’t answer, so he began to threaten me: “If you don’t talk, I’ll have you detained for life.” One of the officers stepped forward and slapped me across the face several times, sending a burning sensation through my face. Another officer was fuming with rage and growled: “Beat her to death! She won’t tell the truth until she’s beaten!” All at once, several officers started punching and kicking me. They didn’t stop until they were exhausted and gasping for air. Another officer grabbed an electric baton and started prodding me all over. Electric shocks immediately pulsed throughout my body. It felt as if countless ants were drilling through my flesh and into my heart. My body convulsed wildly as I screamed in agony, and started to jerk back and forth involuntarily. Pain shot through my wrist as the handcuff dug deep into my flesh. Sweat streamed down my face and into my eyes—it stung so badly I couldn’t open my eyes. I was afraid of being hit or electrocuted to death. I kept praying to God in my heart, “God! Please protect me and give me strength so I can overcome this cruel torture by the police.” I remembered the words of the, “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). The Lord’s words gave me faith and strength. My life was in God’s hand and my spirit, too, was in God’s hands. I was willing to submit to God’s arrangements. Even if I was to be tortured to death, I was determined not to betray God as Judas did. As I thought about this, I didn’t feel as scared anymore.
Just then, an officer wearing glasses came in and walked up to me saying: “If you answer my questions properly, I won’t beat you. Where were you planning to send these books? Who is your leader? Who told you to come?” I answered, “I don’t know.” His mood turned dark as he shouted, “Think this through and tell me the truth!” Upon realizing that I wasn’t going to speak, the captain pointed to the window and said, “Do you believe that I’ll dig a pit and bury you alive outside that window?” I said, “I believe you. You completely disregard all laws and morality. You’ll do anything.” Upon hearing these words, the officer feigned a polite smile as he said, “Of course I won’t bury you. We’re police—how could we do anything illegal? I have the final say about what happens to you. As long as you explain everything clearly, I can release you now.” I said, “There isn’t anything to explain.” Another officer was so angry that he rushed forward and punched me in the chest. He said, “No more nonsense! She should be beaten to death!” Again, several officers started beating and kicking me. When they got tired of beating me, they used an electric baton to shock me. My entire body went numb from the pain. As the electricity pulsed throughout my body, I could feel my muscles powerfully contracting. I screamed from the pain and bashed my head on the bedframe. This brutal torture at the hands of the police left me completely drained. I didn’t have an ounce of strength left. The officer threatened, “Take her to the torture chamber and let her check out our facilities!” I thought, “I already can’t stand this anymore. I don’t know how much longer this torture will continue, or whether I will even live through it. What would I do if the torture became too intense and I became like Judas? I’d rather die than keep being tortured like this.” I smashed my head into the bedframe as hard as I could, but I didn’t die. I tried to hit my head against the wall, but I couldn’t reach it. The more I struggled, the tighter the handcuffs became. A splitting pain shot through my wrist as the metal sunk into my flesh. In great agony, I prayed earnestly to God: “God! I’m very weak right now. I’m afraid I won’t be able to bear the torture and will become like Judas. Please give me faith and lead me to understand Your will.” After praying, I remembered God’s words: “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” (“Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in). These words of God comforted my heart. I realized that my attempts to take my own life were not in accordance with God’s will. God wanted me to stand witness and please God in the midst of Satan’s siege. But Satan wanted to make me betray God by destroying my own flesh. I couldn’t fall for its tricks—I had to keep living. I thought back to how Daniel was cast into the lions’ den. He had faith and prayed to God, and God shut the lions’ mouths. I also needed to have faith in God and submit myself to His arrangements.
A police officer holding an electric baton said viciously, “If you don’t tell me the truth, I’ll electrocute you to death!” Then, he started to shock me. But incredibly, this time the baton didn’t cause as much pain as before. From the time the baton touched me until it ran out of power, I didn’t feel too much pain. Also, my mind was clear. This really was a miraculous act of God. He forgave my weaknesses and had mercy on me. My heart was full of gratitude to God. The police tortured me until after 2:00 a.m. before taking a break. Because of the torture, combined with the hot weather, my clothes were drenched in sweat. The handcuff on my right hand was cutting into my flesh, my wrist was swelling, and blood was oozing down my arm. I was completely exhausted and didn’t have the slightest bit of strength left. I leaned against the bed and dozed off for a bit, but two police who were guarding me shouted, “Don’t you sleep! Stand up straight!” They kept me shackled and didn’t let me sleep. I remembered what a supervisor at the printing company had once said, “If you get caught printing the words of God, you’ll be sentenced to death or jail.” I also thought about how the police said they would send me to the torture chamber. I didn’t know what they would do to me next. Would I be able to withstand the torture? If it lasted for a long time, I might not be able to endure it—I might become like Judas and betray God. Then, my life of believing in God would be over. I was afraid and kept begging God to guard me. “God!” I said, “May You lead me through this circumstance. I don’t know what is waiting for me. Please give me faith to forsake my flesh and stand witness.” After praying, I remembered the words of God: “The utmost faith and love are required from us in this stage of work. We may stumble from the slightest carelessness, for this stage of work is different from all the previous ones: What God is perfecting is mankind’s faith, which is both invisible and intangible. What God does is convert words to faith, to love, and to life. People must reach a point where they have endured hundreds of refinements and possess faith greater than Job’s. They must endure incredible suffering and all manner of torture without ever leaving God. When they are obedient unto death, and have great faith in God, then this stage of God’s work is complete” (“The Path … (8)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From these words of God, I understood that God allows trials and refinements for the purpose of perfecting a person’s faith and obedience. I thought of when Job was tested. He lost his property and children, and his body was covered in sores. But still, he didn’t blame God. He truly had faith in God and stood witness for Him. I also remembered Peter’s earnest pursuit of love and knowledge of God. He loved God above all else, obeyed God until his death, and was even crucified upside down for God. But what about me? I only loved and submitted to God during good times. When I was tortured and my flesh endured hardship, I just wanted to escape. I realized that I didn’t really have faith in God. God was using these circumstances to help me realize my shortcomings and perfect my faith. This is God’s love! I couldn’t continue being so negative. No matter how the police tortured me, I should rely on God and stand witness. Thinking about this gave me the will to endure suffering. I determined that even if I was to die, I wouldn’t be like Judas.
That night, an officer brought a man in. He said, “No matter how tightly you shut your mouth, he can pry it open. Now you’re in for it.” That man’s fierce expression sent a chill down my spine. I didn’t know what cruel methods he would use to torture me. Before I had time to react, and without saying another word, the man grabbed a thick stack of papers from an office desk, walked behind me, placed the papers against my back with his left hand and then punched them hard with his right hand. Every time he hit me, it sent a splintering pain through my back. After punching a few times in one area, he’d shift to another part of my back. After shifting three times, he turned to face me again. He placed the papers against my chest with his left hand and viciously punched them with his right hand. I felt as if all my internal organs had ruptured. I can’t even begin to describe how badly it hurt. I couldn’t remember how many times I had been hit. He continued until he was exhausted and covered in sweat. He threw the papers onto the desk and proclaimed viciously, “If you still won’t talk, I’ll send you to the torture chamber!” Hearing that I would go to the torture chamber scared me. I was afraid that if they kept beating me like this, I would die. And I had no idea when all of this would end. I kept pleading with God to protect me and I remembered His words which say: “Abraham offered up Isaac—what have you offered up? Job offered up everything—what have you offered up? So many people have given their lives, laid down their heads, shed their blood in order to seek the true way. Have you paid that price?” (“The Significance of Saving the Descendants of Moab” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I thought about Abraham offering up Isaac, and Job sacrificing everything. I have believed in God for many years, and have enjoyed the watering and supply of the words of God. But I hadn’t sacrificed anything. Thinking of this made me feel ashamed. I couldn’t just think about my own flesh and safety. I had to think about how to please God and repay His love. I was left with nothing except my life. Even if I died, I had to please God by standing witness. Just as I was determined to put my life on the line, a police officer unexpectedly said, “I think it’s useless to beat this person anymore. Perhaps she doesn’t know anything.” Then, they left. I knew that this was God opening a way out for me and my heart was full of gratitude to Him.
After that, a male police officer entered. He was around 40 years old. He pulled my hair, stroked my face, and mocked me saying, “You’re pretty easy on the eyes. Why don’t you go into prostitution? If you can’t find young clients, the old ones wouldn’t be a problem.” Hearing this made me both disgusted and angry. I gave the man a hard stare and then ignored him. Another officer said impatiently, “Send her away and let the people over there deal with her.” Then, they thrust me into a car. A co-worker sister of mine was also in the car. I felt so distressed in my heart. She had also been arrested, but we couldn’t talk. I kept calling out to God in my heart, asking Him to lead us.
Around midnight, the police took us into a detention house and separated us. The correctional officer ordered me to take my clothes off and submit to a strip search, and she made me squat several times. I felt so humiliated. I hated the Communist Party with all my heart. After the strip search, they put me into a cell for serious offenders. There were 11 people inside. There were drug dealers, murderers, robbers, and prostitutes. At that time, a drug dealer wanted to beat me, but the cell head said, “Don’t hit her, she’s already swollen enough. The police officers must have tortured her severely.” I thanked God from the bottom of my heart for protecting me. The next day, the cell head made me wash the bathroom, clean and sweep, and do handiwork. Because my hand was still swollen, I couldn’t even hold the needle steady, but I still had to complete the tasks. If I failed to do so, I was scolded. Every day, I ate bland dishes without salt or oil. At night, I had a two-hour shift. Then after work, I still had to memorize the prison’s rules.
After a month, a police officer took me to the Public Security Bureau for interrogation. He took me into a room, where I could see my husband and daughter entering. My face was swollen, my hair was cut short, and I was wearing oversized slippers. My daughter’s eyes widened as she saw me. She was so scared that she took a step backward and hid behind my husband. Looking at my daughter’s frightened face made my heart ache. My daughter, who usually snuggles into my arms, had become a stranger. I wanted so badly to reach out and hold her little hand. When my husband saw me, he started to cry. “Is it really you?” he asked, “How did you get caught?” Seeing my husband crying, I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. I really wanted to be set free and go home to be reunited with my husband and daughter. And I kept crying out to God in my heart to guard my heart. I remembered these words of God: “At all times, My people should be on guard against the cunning schemes of Satan, guarding the gate of My house for Me; … so as to avoid falling into Satan’s trap, at which time it would be too late for regrets” (“Chapter 3” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). It was suddenly all clear to me: This was one of Satan’s tricks. Satan wanted to use emotions to entice me to betray God. But I couldn’t let myself fall into their trap. So, I held back my tears and kept begging God to protect me. An officer undid my handcuffs and said to my husband, “Have a good chat with her and share your feelings. Once she tells us what we need to know, she can go home.” Then, a policewoman came in. She pointed to my daughter and said, “Look at this poor child. She’s so small. You’re a mother who is not at home to take care of her child.” But I knew these were all part of Satan’s scheme. So, I didn’t say anything.
When the police saw that the ploy had failed, they told my husband to go. Watching my husband and daughter as they walked away filled my heart with pain. The Communist Party had destroyed my wonderful family! My heart was filled with hatred for it. I remembered aof the words of God: “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? Thousands of years of hate are concentrated in the heart, millennia of sinfulness are inscribed upon the heart—how could this not inspire loathing? Avenge God, completely snuff out His enemy. 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” (“Those in Darkness Should Rise Up” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). I had personally experienced the CCP’s arrest and persecution. I had clearly seen their God-hating and God-resisting demonic essence. The CCP is the enemy of God, a group of evil spirits and demons. I renounced them in my heart, and resolved to stand witness and humiliate Satan!
At the end of 2006, my husband wrote me a letter saying that my father was gravely ill. I was terribly distressed. I didn’t know how much longer the police would detain me. During my interrogation, the police said I would remain in prison for at least three to five years. If I was convicted, I would serve seven to ten years. If that happened, I wouldn’t even get to see my dad one last time. Thinking about this made me increasingly upset. I didn’t eat, drink, or speak for three days. My heart was in so much pain. In the midst of the pain, I kept crying out to God to protect me. “O God!” I said, “My heart is weak and in pain. Please guard me and give me faith …” I remembered a hymn of the words of God: “If people do not have any confidence, it is not easy for them to continue down this path. Everyone can now see that God’s work does not conform in the slightest with people’s notions. God has done so much work and spoken so many words, which are completely out of line with human notions. Thus, people must have the confidence and willpower to be able to stand by what they have already seen and what they have gained from their experiences. No matter what God does in people, they must uphold what they themselves possess, be sincere in front of God, and remain devoted to Him to the very end. This is mankind’s duty. People must uphold that which they should do” (“Man Must Keep to His Duty” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). These words of God helped me understand that when God permits things I cannot understand, I need to have faith in Him. I was arrested and was facing long-term imprisonment, so I lost faith and lived in pain and weakness. I realized that my faith in God was too small. Whether I’d be condemned to a heavy sentence was all in God’s hands. God allowed the CCP to persecute me in order to perfect my faith and loyalty. Even if I was handed a life sentence, I had to stand witness. I couldn’t disappoint God. Realizing this, I felt a lot less anguished.
I was held in the detention house for an excessive term of 19 months. The Communist Party charged me with “using a xie jiao organization to undermine the implementation of the law” and sentenced me to two years of reeducation through labor. When I entered the labor camp, a female officer made me strip for a search. Again, I was forced to squat several times and was once again humiliated. In the camp, I had to do more than ten hours of handiwork every day. Failure to complete the work meant standing punishment, deduction of points, and extended jail time. Every day, we had to wake up at 5:30 a.m. and we only had 5 minutes to wash up before we started military training. We took cold showers in both the winter and summer. Our clothes stunk because they never saw the sun. If we violated the rules, we were given standing punishment and had points deducted. Losing 10 points meant doing an extra day of work. When I first entered the labor camp, I was weak and my blood sugar was low. When the sun shone on the training ground during military training, I would sweat profusely, feel dizzy and my limbs would go weak. After the military training, I still had to go to the workshop. There was no sick leave. One time, while we were standing for roll call before cleaning duties, I became dizzy, my limbs went limp, and I passed out. It was only after the other inmates protested that the instructor took me to the medical office for examination. The doctor said it was malnutrition and low blood sugar. I needed more nutrition and rest. The instructor said, “It’s fine, it won’t kill her.” Then, she made me keep working. If it wasn’t for God’s protection, I wouldn’t have made it out of that demonic prison alive.
I was released in July of 2008. The police threatened me saying, “If you keep believing in God, we’ll arrest you again.” It was written on the release certificate that I had to report to the local police station once a month. No more believing in God, no more long trips, no more petitions. I had to report to them whenever I planned to travel. After I got home, police officers would often come to my house to see what I was up to. The county public security chief also called my brother several times. He had my brother keep an eye on me and report my whereabouts to them at all times. To avoid arrest by the police, I was forced to leave home and went to another city to spread the gospel and fulfill my duty.
Over these years, as I’ve been arrested and persecuted by the Communist Party for believing in God, in times of weakness and helplessness, it was the words of God that led me and gave me faith to overcome the cruelty of the devil. Although my flesh has suffered some, I have tasted God’s almightiness and sovereignty, and my faith in God has increased. I have seen God’s love and salvation. No matter how much more persecution and hardship I may endure, I will follow God in faith!