My name is Xinsheng and I am 61 years old. My grandmother and my mother are Christians. In 1969, I was 14 years old. On a winter day, my grandmother came to my home. At night, before I went to bed, I saw red crosses embroidered on the inside of her hat and clothes. Out of curiosity, I asked, “Grandma, why did you embroider the crosses on the inside of your hat and clothes?” She hurried to keep me quiet, saying, “Don’t say anything about it when you go out! Otherwise, once the officials hear it, I’ll be labeled as “active counterrevolutionary”, and attacked in the struggle session, and even my head will be cut off.” As she said, she made a slicing gesture across her neck. Hearing her words, I wondered, “Is it that serious? The Lord teaches people to be good. Believers in Him do nothing bad. Why will their heads be cut off? The belief in the Lord should be supported by the government!” As a young and ignorant child, I couldn’t understand the politics at that time. I failed to see clearly the truth of the Chinese government acting as an enemy of God until I become a Christian and personally experienced the pursuit and persecution of the Chinese government.
On a winter day in 1995, I was attending a meeting out of town with some co-workers. Unfortunately, wicked people reported us to the police. We were singing when suddenly the brother and sister of the host family shouted, “Run! Run! The police are coming!” Hearing the shout, all brothers and sisters rushed out, but two trucks of the Public Security Bureau quickly had arrived at the yard before we all escaped. More than ten policemen got off the trucks with electric batons in their hands. A tall policeman stood in the doorway with an electric baton, preventing us from running out. The other policemen went to pursue the brothers and sisters who had escaped. Taking this opportunity, the old brothers and sisters ran over to wrap their arms around the tall policeman’s legs to create opportunities for the young brothers and sisters to escape. The tall policeman burst into a rage and kicked an old sister far away. The old sister lay on the ground for quite a while. And then she struggled to stand up and ran over to hold his leg with a limp again. Seeing this, I felt as if my heart was being pierced into pieces. The inhumane policemen wouldn’t even spare an old woman, which made me so angry that I gnashed my teeth. Just then, I found that the tall policeman was blocking the top half of the door with his arms, so I took a little sister who was beside me and got out across his armpit. Running at least 100 meters, we heard the host family sister crying, “Don’t take all my food away! What can we have to eat then?”
Later, I learned that the police grabbed all the grains of the host family that day. They were the only food for the family to live on! In the past, I only heard about the bandits and robbers grabbing people’s food. But I never expected that it would happen to the people’s police who kept saying every day that they served the people. That day, the sister cried hysterically and tried to stop the police from grabbing her food, but it was just in vain. What was worse, the policemen even took away the only rickshaw in her family.
At that time, those of us who had managed to escape all hid in the woods on a mountain and stayed awake all night for fear of being arrested by the police. And the police’s brutalities also made us tremble to think what they would do to the old brothers and sisters who gave their chance of escaping to us.
Since we were strangers there, the church immediately arranged for our returning home after that incident. Later, I learned that the old brothers and sisters were arrested and put into prison where they were cruelly tortured by the police. They had no quilts to cover them when they slept. They didn’t have enough to eat, and all their money was confiscated by the police. In that year, to common people, a few yuan would save their lives at a critical moment. But the inhumane police even didn’t care a whit about brothers and sisters’ life and death.
After experiencing the persecution of the Chinese government, I truly saw its evil essence, how it persecutes religious belief and acts against God. Since then, more cautiously we attended meetings, but the persecutions from the Chinese government still came to us one after another.
One winter night in 1997, just as brothers and sisters began to go home after a co-worker meeting, we heard a police siren which made us very nervous. At that time, Pastor Wang said in a hurry, “Don’t be afraid, brothers and sisters. Run uphill immediately! Thesaid, ‘But when they persecute you in this city, flee you into another: for truly I say to you, You shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the be come’ (Matthew 10:23). What we have suffered today is commemorated by the Lord!” Then we ran towards the mountain and climbed uphill, holding onto each other. The police were running after us while shouting: “Your meetings are illegal, disturbing the social order. Freeze or we’ll shoot!” And then they did shoot twice. As the police getting closer, a brother said, “Go and hide yourselves quickly. I’ll divert them.” Before we understood what was going on, the brother had run straight forward. Two policemen saw him running and chased him. They shot twice and hit the brother in his hip, but he managed to divert the policemen with pain. The other police kept searching for us on the mountain with flashlights. We squatted in a ditch and dared not move at all for the whole night. We even wetted our pants because we couldn’t move for fear of being arrested. What’s worse, I got a fever that day. My throat hurt but I couldn’t cough. I just covered my mouth with a hand, almost suffocated. I was suddenly so weak that I complained: Why is it so hard to believe in God in China that we have to suffer so much? We didn’t do anything evil. Why do the Chinese government persecute us so cruelly? They don’t catch the thieves and the wicked people, but just arrest the believers of God. They are too evil! Just when I was in suffering and felt helpless in this cold night, the Lord’s words clearly came to me: “If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). The Lord’s words made me understand that the government persecuted us not to make things difficult for us, but to act as an enemy of God. They wanted to abolish God’s work in China by means of arresting the Christians. It was all Satan’s act. Thinking of this, I got strength within. I knew I was doing battle with Satan. I couldn’t be negative or weak, but should have faith in the Lord. I would rely on the Lord to stand firmly witness for Him. I would absolutely refuse to let Satan’s plot succeed and to be laughed at by it.
We kept waiting silently until the daybreak finally came. As soon as the police withdrew, we went out to look for the lost brothers and sisters. We found that more than ten brothers and sisters fell into the valley by accident during their escape. But thanks to the protection of the Lord, they were not hurt. Only a sister looked pale and her lips turned purple because she was frightened by a snakeskin and the skull of an unknown animal. I felt very indignant to see such scenes: These are all caused by the Chinese government. These police rarely put so much effort into the criminals, but frantically arrest us Christians. That really does fulfill the saying that since ancient times, the true way has always faced persecution. The CCP is an atheist party who has been brutally persecuting the believers in God by all kinds of cruel means. If it were not for God protecting us secretly, I don’t know how many brothers and sisters would be arrested or killed this day. Later, I learned that the brothers and sisters who had been arrested were subjected to physical search by force and all the money found was pocketed by the police.
After experiencing the pursuits one after another, I finally see through the Chinese government’s God-opposing essence. On the surface, it proclaims religious freedom, but in reality, it chokes off people’s freedom. Those who don’t listen to it will be tortured or oppressed. It frantically persecutes the Christians only to compel us to compromise with it, and thus force us to give up our faith. However, we never shrink from their arrests. Instead, we will unswervingly follow the Lord on the way of cross. The Lord Jesus once said, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). It is blessed to be persecuted by those in authority for the faith in the Lord, which is the way we should walk. We must walk the way the Lord walked and must drink from the bitter cup the Lord drank from. For many years, the Chinese government has never stopped arresting and persecuting the house churches, but it never stops the work of the Lord at all, nor does it shake the true believers’. Thank the Lord for caring and protecting us all along, and for giving us faith. No matter what horrible persecutions from the Chinese government are, we will still follow the Lord with unbounded confidence.