Christian Persecution: A Narrow Escape From the CCP’s Arrest
The night was deep dark and tranquil, and the moonlight was cool. The night wind of June blew over the bumpy mountain road. In the darkness, two figures were hurrying on with their journey. In front was Pan Ying’s husband, and Pan Ying was following him behind. Suddenly, Pan Ying’s feet slipped and she fell onto the road. Her husband turned around and helped her up with caution, saying, “Are you all right?” “I’m all right,” said Pan Ying. “Keep moving. We must arrive at the bus station before daybreak.” Then they went on moving forward. All creatures in the mountain were asleep. There was no sound save that of their grasps and footsteps. At this moment, Pan Ying had many words to say to her husband, yet she didn’t know where to begin. After a moment’s silence, Pan Ying said in a choked voice, “I have no idea of when I’ll be back once I leave today. You are always busy with your work and seldom take care of the two children. Our son is in high school and his lessons are stressful. When he comes back home for vacation, you should cook some nutritious food for him. Our daughter is in college and seldom goes home. You should call her frequently. I have prepared the summer clothes of you and the children in the wardrobe. After I leave, the CCP will still come to our home to make trouble. You shouldand rely on Him more. Remember to read more of God’s words and do not stray far from Him.” “Don’t worry about us,” Pan Ying’s husband pretended to be strong and said. “I’ll take care of our children well. And I’ll pray to God when I encounter difficulties. You’re on your own away from home. You must be cautious and take care of yourself. If it were not for the police coming time and again to our home and my work unit to cause trouble, making us unable to lead a peaceful life, we wouldn’t have to suffer this. I also want to take our children to go with you.” Hearing her husband’s words, Pan Ying felt as if her heart was being torn by something. She paused for a while trying to repress the pain in her heart, and then said, “Don’t be silly. Our two children are both in school now. We can’t interfere with their study. After we get to the station, you should go home.” At this time, Pan Ying was especially sorrowful in her heart. She didn’t know when they could meet again after this departure. If she had not been reported by the pastors a week ago and faced the danger of being arrested, she would still be performing her duty in the church and could take care of her husband and children at home. However, all this was impossible.
God’s words guided her when a dangerous situation befell.
It was around 4:30 p.m. on June 3, Pan Ying was reading God’s words at home when she suddenly heard a loud and urgent knocking from the door. She immediately hid the book ofand went to open the door. Then Sister Yang came in nervously and said to her, “You and several others who preach were reported by the religious pastors. Brother Zhang has been arrested by the police and Sister Li’s house was also raided. The police have known your real identity. You can’t stay at home anymore. You’d better go into hiding in case of being arrested.” Hearing this, Pan Ying was shocked and couldn’t accept it for a moment. In the past two months, Pan Ying and several other brothers and sisters had been preaching the gospel in a religious church. Of more than 100 people in the church, over 60 accepted God’s new work. Seeing that the majority of the believers had accepted God’s work in the last days, the pastors got exasperated and harbored a grudge against Pan Ying and her brothers and sisters. They even reported them to the police. Pan Ying thought: “The pastors are really so malicious! They actually handed us over to the CCP police for torture and injury. Are they still believers in God? It seems that I could be arrested at any time if I continue staying at home.” However, at the thought of leaving home and her children, Pan Ying felt so reluctant and weak in her heart, and then asked Sister Yang, “Where could I go? I have never gone far away from home.” As she spoke, tears trickled down her cheeks. Sister Yang comforted her, “Sister, we all feel sad when encountering such a thing. None of us is willing to leave our own children uncared for. But it’s just that we were born in a county where God is hated as an enemy. We have no other choice. Though we suffer, it is meaningful. I remember God telling us, ‘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.’ Sister, we can understand from God’s words that when God comes to carry out His work in China, the CCP government tries all sorts of ways to disturb and obstruct His work. And we are also pursued and persecuted by them. Yet we all know that it is a righteous undertaking to believe in and follow God. Our suffering for this will be commemorated by God. Now you were reported by the religious pastors for spreading the gospel, suffer the pursuit of the CCP, and have to leave home. But we have God by our side, and as long as we rely on Him, there’s no difficulty we can’t get through.” Hearing God’s words and Sister Yang’s fellowship, Pan Ying had some confidence. She nodded her head silently as wiping the tears.
The following day, Pan Ying simply packed her belongings and was ready to go. Before leaving, she couldn’t help walking into her children’s rooms to have a look. Seeing her son’s messy desk, Pan Ying shook her head and then helped him tidy it. Her daughter’s room was clean and tidy, which made her feel a little comforted. Looking at the home which she was familiar with, Pan Ying felt it hard to part with it. Nonetheless, she still stepped out with tears in her eyes. She had never imagined that what awaited her was another dangerous situation.
God protected her while she was in danger.
Pan Ying came to her elder brother’s home. It just so happened to be the season of summer sowing. Pan Ying helped her brother to transplant rice seedlings for one week. Afraid that her brother would worry about her, she didn’t tell him about the CCP’s pursuit of her. One morning Pan Ying thought: “I’ve stayed here for eight days now. Since I’ve never stayed at my brother’s house for such a long time after marriage, if I continue living here, it will arouse his suspicion and he may call my husband. In that case, if my husband’s calls are monitored, my whereabouts will be known by the police.” Thinking of this, Pan Ying prayed to God silently, “Dear God! Due to the pursuit of the CCP, I have nowhere to go now. I can’t stay at my brother’s house anymore. But I have no idea where to go. O God! Please lead me and guide the direction of my progress.” After prayer, a clear thought occurred to her, “Leave here right now.” At this time, Pan Ying felt it was very possible that this thought was from God’s guidance, so she decided to leave her brother’s home immediately. Before leaving, she told her brother, “I’ll go to our younger sister’s home.” While she intended to go there, it suddenly occurred to her: “My younger sister’s husband is the village secretary, who opposes. If I go to their house, will he question me? His mother is a believer in the Lord. In the past, when his mother’s brothers and sisters went to meet with her, he would abuse them. And he also said words of blaspheming God. What if he sells me out? No, I’d better not go to his home.” At this thought, Pan Ying changed her mind and decided to go to her youngest sister’s home.
No sooner had Pan Ying arrived at her youngest sister’s home than her younger sister also got there. As soon as she saw Pan Ying, she nervously said, “Our elder brother called me and said that the police went to his home to arrest you, and that when they failed to find you there, they drove to my home to hunt for you. Then I thought that since you didn’t come to my home, it was very possible that you had come to our youngest sister’s home. As I thought, you are really here. What happened to your family? Why do the police want to arrest you?” Hearing what her sister said, Pan Ying realized that the evil cops of the CCP were closely pursuing her. She felt scared when she thought of how the evil cops carried out cruel tortures on her brothers and sisters after arresting them. She prayed to God constantly in her heart, “Almighty God! The police are pursuing me. I’m so scared. I don’t know what will happen to me next. O God! I beg You to give me bravery and faith, so that I will have the courage to face this environment. May You open a path for me.” After prayer, a passage of God’s words came into her mind, “I am your strong tower, I am your shelter, and I am your backup. Moreover, I am your Almighty One; I am your all! Everything is in My hands.” God’s words are full of authority and power, giving Pan Ying faith and courage. “With Almighty God being my backup, what is there for me to be afraid of?” At this moment, her heart calmed down a lot, and she no longer felt that scared.
Pan Ying composed herself. Fearing that her sisters would worry about her, she didn’t tell them the truth. Then, her younger sister went back home. About three hours later, her younger sister and her husband came to her youngest sister’s home together. Seeing them, Pan Ying knew something must have happened. She anxiously asked her husband, “What happened? How come you came here with my younger sister?” “The day before yesterday,” said her husband full of righteous indignation, “your elder brother called me and asked if we had gotten into arguments. Who would have known that our call was monitored by the police. At about 8:00 this morning, the police drove to my work unit. They threatened and menaced me, and pulled and pushed me into the police vehicle. Then they headed directly toward your elder brother’s house. On the way, the axes of the wheels got entangled with straws several times, which made the police vehicles unable to move, so they had to stop to pull the straws out. When the police arrived at your elder brother’s home, you had just left. Seeing that you were not there, the evil cops then threatened and questioned your elder brother, who was scared and told them that you had gone to your younger sister’s home. Hearing that, the police then drove to your younger sister’s house. Luckily, you were not there. They failed to seize you, so they ordered me to stay at your younger sister’s house, warning that I couldn’t go anywhere else until they found you. Then they drove away and went to our other relatives’ to hunt for you. It looks like they won’t give up until they arrest you. The CCP cops are really a gang of devils that resist God. To ban our belief, they plan to drive out and exterminate us believers in God. It’s lucky that you escape this pursuit. Thank God!” Hearing her husband’s hair-raising description, Pan Ying opened her eyes wide, thinking: “I, a nobody, actually can cause the CCP to mobilize such forces to closely pursue me. If it were not for Almighty God’s protection, how could I escape this disaster?”
Pan Ying counted: When the sister told me to leave home to avoid being arrested, I was unable to let go of my family and children. Then God’s words granted me strength, so that I could leave home and escape the arrest of the CCP. After I had stayed at my elder brother’s home for eight days, this morning God gave me a thought that I ought to leave there right away. I obeyed God’s guidance and then saw His wondrous deeds. The wheels of the police cars got entangled with straws several times, which gave me enough time to escape the pursuit of the CCP. When I intended to leave for my younger sister’s home, God enlightened me to recall that my younger sister’s husband was an evil man, and then I changed my mind and went to my youngest sister’s home. Thereby, the CCP failed to find me once again. From the sequence of events, Pan Ying saw God’s wondrous deeds, and that God was protecting her in secret. She also came to a firmer belief that everything in the universe, without exception, is decided by God, and that without God’s permission, the CCP is incapable of arresting her however savage it is. Pan Ying had more confidence and thanked and praised God from the depth of her heart. She also made up her mind that no matter how hard the road ahead was, she would follow God to the very end. At this moment, her younger sister said, “Since the police didn’t find you, they won’t let you go so easily. I’m afraid they will come here soon. You’d better leave here right now.” “That’s right,” said Pan Ying with a heavy look. “But I cannot take the main road now. I have to leave here tonight through the mountain road and get to the bus station before daybreak.” “I can’t let you walk the mountain road alone,” said Pan Ying’s husband. “I’ll accompany you to the bus station.” Then, they set off that evening.
Although the journey was full of danger, God’s love accompanied her all the way.
Pan Ying’s feet slipped and she fell with a flop on the mountain road again. It was already over two in the morning at that time. Unconsciously, Pan Ying and her husband had walked for more than seven hours in the dark night. Her feet were blistered and her legs felt sore, and she was so tired that she had no strength to walk on. She really wanted to find a place to sit down and take a short nap, but she worried that it would delay the journey, and that if they failed to reach the station at daybreak, the CCP police would go there to hunt her down. Helpless, she dragged her exhausted body to move on. Faced with such a circumstance, Pan Ying felt it was so difficult to believe in God and walk the correct path in China. At this moment, she remembered God’s words, “Forefathers of the ancient? Beloved leaders? They all oppose God! Their meddling has left all beneath heaven in a state of darkness and chaos! Religious freedom? The legitimate rights and interests of citizens? They are all tricks for covering up sin!” “How many among them seek the truth and follow righteousness? They are all beasts, no better than pigs and dogs, at the head of a gang of stinking flies, wagging their heads in smug self-congratulation and stirring up all kinds of trouble, in the middle of a dung heap. They believe that their king of hell is the greatest king of all, little knowing that they themselves are no more than stinking flies. And yet, they take advantage of the power of the pigs and dogs they have for parents to malign the existence of God. As diminutive flies, they believe their parents to be as large as toothed whales. Little do they know that, while they themselves are tiny, their parents are unclean pigs and dogs hundreds of millions of times larger than they. Unaware of their own lowliness, they rely on the stench of putrefaction exuded by those pigs and dogs to run amok, vainly thinking to procreate future generations, oblivious to shame! With green wings upon their backs (this refers to their claiming to believe in God), they are full of themselves and boast everywhere of their own beauty and allure, while they secretly fling the impurities on their own bodies onto man. Furthermore, they are exceedingly pleased with themselves, as if they can use a pair of rainbow-colored wings to conceal their own impurities, and by these means they bring their oppression to bear on the existence of the true God (this refers to what goes on behind the scenes in the religious world). How would man know that, as enchantingly beautiful as the wings of a fly may be, the fly itself is after all no more than a tiny creature, with a belly full of filth and a body covered with germs? On the strength of the pigs and dogs they have for parents, they run amok across the land (this refers to the way in which the religious officials who persecute God rely on the strong backing of the government of the nation to rebel against the true God and the truth), unrestrained in their savagery. It is as if the ghosts of the Jewish Pharisees have returned along with God to the nation of the great red dragon, back to their old nest. They have begun yet another round of persecution, picking up their work of several thousand years ago. This group of degenerates is sure to perish on earth in the end!”
Pondering these two passages of God’s words, Pan Ying really appreciated that what God’s words reveal is exactly the truth. Outwardly, the CCP waves the flag of freedom of belief, claiming that Chinese citizens enjoy human rights and freedom as well as freedom of belief. But in fact, they use various methods and ways in secret to spot, arrest, imprison, beat, and persecute the believers in God. They regard people who believe in God as a thorn in their side, a nail in their flesh. Today, to arrest her, an unarmed Christian, the CCP even mobilized such great manpower and material resources, causing her to flee home. At this time, Pan Ying was full of resentment in her heart toward the CCP. She thought: “That they continually pursue me is to make me stray away from God, deny God, and betray God. They are too evil! Doing evil like this, they will eventually receive the righteous punishment of God.” At the same time, God’s words also allowed Pan Ying to see clearly the true semblance of the religious pastors and elders. They believe in God but resist Him, just like the early Jewish chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees. When they saw the’ disciples spread the Lord’s gospel everywhere, for fear that the Jewish people would follow Him, they collaborated with the Roman government to oppress and arrest the disciples who followed the Lord Jesus. Today, the pastors and elders are just the same. In order to hinder the spreading of the kingdom gospel and prevent the believers from investigating and accepting the true way, they conspire with the CCP government to persecute those who spread the gospel of the last days. When seeing them, they either beat and curse them or report them to the police. Their behaviors are no different from those of the Pharisees who opposed the Lord Jesus and persecuted His disciples.
At that moment, in Pan Ying’s heart arose a true hatred of the CCP and the pastors and elders in religious circles who resist God. And she even more yearned for the light and thirsted for the truth. Recalling how God wonderfully protected her time and time again, she tasted God’s love and salvation for her. God did not have the heart to see her fall into the hands of the CCP and be harmed by it, and helped her escape its arrest time and again. In these experiences, Pan Ying gained real knowledge of God’s omnipotence and sovereignty, and also saw that God’s wisdom is established upon Satan’s ruses. Just as God’s words say, “God intends to use a portion of the work of evil spirits to perfect a portion of humanity, enabling these people to see completely through the devils’ iniquities, that all humanity may truly know their ‘ancestors.’ Only in this way can humans break completely free, not only forsaking the posterity of the devils, but even the devils’ ancestors. This is God’s true purpose in utterly defeating the great red dragon, to make it so that all humanity knows the great red dragon’s true form, to tear its mask off fully and to look upon its true form. This is what God wants to achieve, it is the final goal of all the work He has done on earth, and it is what He aims to accomplish in all humanity. This is known as mobilizing all things to serve God’s purpose.” Pan Ying understood that the CCP is actually in God’s hands. Although it is wicked and attempts to use all kinds of means to force her to give up her faith in God and betray God, God just uses it as a foil in His work. In such a persecution, not only was her determination to believe in and follow God not knocked down, but instead, she thoroughly saw through the demonic essence of the CCP and gained discrimination. Thereby she would abandon it and be more steadfast and unmoving in walking the path of believing in God. She also understood that God’s working this way is to complete a group of overcomers in the country that despises God the most to shame and defeat Satan. God’s work is so practical and so wise! From this, Pan Ying also appreciated God’s good intention and no longer felt upset or weak. Her faith in following God to the end became more resolute.
When the dawn came, a ray of morning light shone in the sky, dispersing the darkness. They had walked a whole night, trudging 10 miles before they got to the station. Pan Ying soon got on a bus to the city, and her husband finally breathed a sigh of relief. Several hours later, Pan Ying smoothly arrived in the city. She gave thanks to God in her heart. It’s His protection all along the journey that delivered her from the dangers and made her successfully escape from the claw of the CCP. Although in the future she would still be confronted with many frustrations, she believed that as long as she relies on God more and places herself in the hands of God, He will always lead her.
- 1. “Stirring up all kinds of trouble” refers to how people who are demonic run riot, obstructing and opposing the work of God.
- 2. “Toothed whales” is used mockingly. It is a metaphor for how flies are so small that pigs and dogs appear as big as whales to them.