Oppression of Faith: After Serving Time the Oppression Continues

By Xinxin

Unlawfully Imprisoned by the CCP, God’s Love Drives Me Forward

In 2013 I was arrested and given a 4.5-year sentence by the CCP because of my faith in God. During that time, I suffered all sorts of brutal torture and experienced all kinds of misery of prison life. In 2017 I was finally done with the hellishness of prison existence and stepped outside of its gates with an incomparable sense of excitement. I couldn’t wait to have a gathering with my family and to see my brothers and sisters. But when I saw my old mom in her 70s, she didn’t pour out her feelings about having been apart, but instead told me in a panicked state that since my arrest by the CCP, she and my daughter had also been arrested, and even though they hadn’t been sentenced, ever since their release people from the police station and the Public Security Bureau had been checking up on them at home from time to time. They had even asked the neighbors to keep an eye on my home. The National Security Brigade had received word that I was getting out and long before showed up to express they were “respectfully awaiting” my return, and to have me report at the police station the day after getting home. This news was like a slap in the face shattering all of my hopes. Filled with anger, I couldn’t help but cry out in my heart, “I’m just a regular person who believes in and worships God. I haven’t done anything illegal or disruptive but was arrested and given 4.5 years in prison by the CCP without any evidence whatsoever. Now I’ve served my time and they still won’t leave me be—they’re so vicious!” But then I thought of how God is my eternal backup force and no matter how the CCP may oppress me, I have to keep praying to and relying on Him, and I have to follow God until the very end according to His words. I absolutely cannot cave in!

two officers burst in my residenceThe morning of my fourth day back at home, two officers unexpectedly burst in and told me to go to the police station the following day for my residence registration and to report in. I only then learned that my residence registration and identification had all been invalidated by the CCP since my arrest. I had no choice but to go in with my sister to get my residence registration taken care of. While handling the formalities one officer hatefully pointed at me and said intimidatingly, “From now on come to the station to report in once a week, and after six months have passed report in once a month—do this for five years straight. If we find out you’re still practicing your faith we’ll send you right back to prison!” Right after that another officer pointed at my case file and said menacingly, “This is an ‘important personage’ file, a classic believer in Almighty God. We need to keep this on file and keep an eye on this long term. The moment we discover anything about you doing more God stuff you’ll get a heavy sentence.” Before I had a chance to think, the officer called my sister aside and spoke with her for a long time. She then warned me with a dark look on her face, “Just like the officer said, having religious beliefs isn’t allowed in China. You believers in God are enemies of the state; you’re political criminals! I know all you’ve done is go to gatherings and you haven’t done anything illegal or disruptive, but in China the Communist Party is the law. If they don’t let us have faith, then we can’t have faith. Don’t get involved in that anymore! The CCP drags in the entire family when someone believes in God. If you’re arrested and put in prison again the rest of us will be facing disaster along with you! They told me I absolutely have to cooperate with their supervision and prevention of your beliefs. If you go back to that don’t blame me for turning my back on our relationship as sisters. Blame the Communist Party for persecuting you Christians so viciously!” Seeing my sister who had always been so caring suddenly become so cold toward me sent me into an emotional tailspin—I was really upset. I thought of how in the past, even though she wasn’t a believer herself, she had always been really supportive of my faith and had been really warm toward the brothers and sisters. But to my surprise, she was starting to stand in the way of my faith because of the CCP police’s threats. I then thought of how my case had been put on the list of “important personage” cases and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of fear. I thought, “If they arrest me again won’t I suffer more cruel torture, and once again live a prison life that’s worse than death? I could hardly get through that living hell and I really don’t want to have that kind of inhumane life again. What can I do…?”

In my helplessness I rushed to pray to God: “Oh God! I’ve been released now but I’m still being threatened and intimidated by the evil police. I don’t know how to go through this and I’m feeling a bit weak. Please guide me on the way forward.” I felt much calmer after praying. After returning home I read these words from God: “Today, God has returned to the world to do His work. His first stop is the grand assemblage of dictatorial rulers: China, the staunch bastion of atheism. God has gained a group of people by His wisdom and power. During the period, He is hunted by China’s ruling party in every means and subjected to great suffering, with no place to rest His head and unable to find a shelter. Despite this, God still continues the work He intends to do: He utters His voice and spreads the gospel” (“God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Pondering His words, I saw God’s resoluteness to never rest in His work to save mankind until it is complete. The CCP is an atheistic political party with faith in Marx; for its entire history it has oppressed God. However, God has returned in the flesh in the last days, appearing and working in China in order to save us, humanity, thoroughly freeing us from Satan’s harm. He has faced incredible danger to speak and work in order to save mankind, during which time He constantly faces the insane resistance, oppression, and pursuit of the CCP government as well as the rejection, slander, and blasphemy of human beings. However, this has not caused God to give up in His salvation for mankind, but He has continued to express the truth, saving each and every one of us to the greatest extent possible. But after being arrested by the CCP and subjected to 4.5 years of prison because of my faith, and once again being monitored, controlled, threatened, and intimidated, I became worried about being arrested and tortured by the CCP once again. Coveting temporal fleshly comfort but losing faith in God—isn’t that cowardly and weak? How is that any kind of faith in God? Not to mention the fact that the suffering I’m enduring is simply not worth mentioning in comparison to the suffering that God has endured in His salvation of mankind! God’s words bolstered my faith, and I knew that no matter how the CCP oppresses or hinders me, I would remain firm in my faith and follow God.

Ganged Up on by Family, Thinking of God’s Love Rekindles My Faith

To my surprise, my sister moved into my house so that she could keep an eye on me. She was constantly on my heels; she wouldn’t allow me to read God’s words or get in touch with brothers or sisters. The moment I left her line of sight she’d be right there asking me what I was doing. I slept in an upstairs bedroom, so my sister came and slept next to me, afraid that I’d have the chance to read God’s words. She even repeated to my two children what the officer had told her and had them watch me as well.

One day I failed to close the door, but just grabbed my MP5 player to watch a video of God’s words. Seeing this, my daughter pulled a long face and asked me, “Who gave you an MP5 player? You’re not supposed to believe in this anymore, but you still do!” In the past she had always been a good, smart kid who had supported my faith; seeing her become so cold and distant because of the CCP’s threats was really painful for me. I also felt really helpless. I had always had the intention of avoiding my family and secretly reading God’s words at night but I had ended up being discovered, and my family had drawn a line between us for that reason. Aside from reprimanding me, they were cold and wouldn’t speak with me. Faced on a daily basis with my children’s opposition, my sister’s oversight, threats, and hindrances, plus the CCP police’s disturbances and intimidation, I was really tortured, really tormented. It felt to me that in such an enormous world, there still wasn’t any place for me to take refuge—all I could do was pour out the pain in my heart to God. My only comfort in that home was that my mother also believed in God and when my sister wasn’t paying attention we would have fellowship on God’s words together, and encourage and comfort each other. Surprisingly, though, one time while my mother and I were having fellowship on God’s words my sister heard us. She angrily cut us off, saying, “You’re still talking about all this God stuff? Do you really want to go back to prison?” From then on she sent our mother to live somewhere else so that control me just like a prisonerwe couldn’t discuss our faith anymore. Another time after that my brother came by to bring me a book of God’s words, but my sister found about it and she drove him off. Seeing this kind of thing happen time after time, I thought back on all the unfair treatment I had suffered because of my faith and I became enraged. Trying to force me to give up my faith, over the more than four years that I was in prison, the CCP used all sorts of brutal torture, had the other prisoners isolate me, beat me, and verbally abuse me. But even after I got home they still wouldn’t let me go—not only were they tracking my whereabouts, preventing me from leading a life of the church, but they were even coercing and inciting my own family to watch over me and control me just like a prisoner. Isn’t that just a prison without walls? How was it any different from keeping me in prison? I was just a person of faith taking the right path in life, so why couldn’t I have the slightest bit of freedom of belief? Why is believing in God so hard to do in China?

All I could do in my pain was pray to God and ask Him to guide me through this environment. After praying, I thought of God’s words that say: “Among you, there is not one man who receives the protection of the law; rather, you are penalized by the law, and the greater difficulty is that no man understands you, be it your relatives, your parents, your friends, or your colleagues. None understand you. When God rejects you, there is no way for you to continue living on earth. However, even so, people cannot bear to leave God; this is the significance of God’s conquest of people, and this is God’s glory” (“Is the Work of God So Simple as Man Imagines?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). It rang true for me. In an atheistic country like China, those of us who believe in God and take the right path in life not only don’t receive the protection of the law, but are even sanctioned by the law. We’re arrested and persecuted like national criminals, and even our loved ones are threatened and intimidated by the CCP. Not only do they not understand us, but they go along with the CCP in suppressing and hindering our faith. But I knew that the suffering I was enduring then was for a righteous cause, that it was a thing of glory. And even though I suffered a bit through the CCP’s oppression, I genuinely felt God always by my side. Over the four-plus years when I was arrested and put into prison by the CCP, every time the police tortured me, when I was cursed and beaten by other prisoners and I was living in weakness and negativity, it was God’s words that enlightened and guided me step after step, allowing me to see through Satan’s tricks, have faith, and stand witness for God. After getting out when I became an “important personage” for the CCP’s monitoring, when I felt spiritually weak and directionless, God gave me faith and strength with His words. He allowed me to understand the value and meaning of suffering and guided me to break through the CCP’s restrictions. Over my time under house arrest by my family God continued to guide me with His words so that I could understand the meaning of suffering, be firm in my faith and follow God. By going through all of this, I experienced that I have God as my backup force, I have Him to lean on at any time, He is with me, and no matter how hard the road ahead of me may be I will resolutely follow God!

Spied on by the Neighbors, My Faith Remains Steadfast

The CCP police not only continued intermittently coming to interrogate and harass me, but even ordered the neighbors to watch me. Under the CCP’s special “care” I couldn’t attend gatherings or perform my duty, nor could I meet with brothers and sisters. I was living every day in fear.

One morning in September 2017, I gingerly shut the door and pulled the curtains closed, then secretly turned on my MP5 player to read God’s words. Then I suddenly heard a loud banging on the window that really scared me. In my panic I didn’t have the chance to put the MP5 player away but just went to open the curtains and look outside. It was a neighbor and the head of residents. Seeing me, they rushed to ask, “What were you doing? Why did you pull the curtains closed?” While speaking they pressed their faces up against the glass while looking everywhere in the room. Acting casual, I said to them, “I’m not doing anything, what are you up to?” I was really concerned that they’d see my MP5 player so I was praying to God nonstop, asking for His protection. After their eyes locked on me and swept across my home like scanners, they put their gazes back to me and said disingenuously, “Oh, nothing. We just wanted to see what you were doing. Don’t pull your curtains closed in the future.” Having found nothing, they left in a huff. I let out a deep breath and thanked God over and over for His protection.

Another time I went out to buy vegetables, and just as I was going downstairs a couple of neighbors sternly asked me where I was going. I knew they had been instructed by the CCP to keep watch over me, so I didn’t acknowledge them, but just went straight out the door. To my surprise they caught up with me and asked me again what I was doing, cornering me so I had no choice but to hastily go to the store to quickly do my shopping and go back home. I couldn’t settle down for a long time after that; I was incredibly sad and angry, thinking, “These people are itching to tie a rope around my neck to control my every move. My family monitors me at home, and when I go out if I’m not followed by the police, I’m being watched by the neighbors or someone from the residents’ committee. christian pray to GodI’m pushed to a point without even a little bit of personal freedom. I’m always ill at ease and in a constant state of being on high alert. When will all this be over?” In my depression and pain, I prayed out to God, “God, being monitored like this is emotionally exhausting and I can’t find any peace. Oh God, please protect me so that I may quiet my heart before You and not be disrupted by the people, events, and things around me, but am able to experience this through faith.” Afterward, I saw this passage of God’s word, “Those who God refers to as overcomers are those who are still able to stand witness, maintain their confidence, and their devotion to God when under the influence of Satan and under siege by Satan, that is, when within the forces of darkness. If you are still able to maintain a heart of purity and your genuine love for God no matter what, you stand witness in front of God, and this is what God refers to as being an overcomer” (“You Ought to Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). As I thought over God’s words I was filled with guilt. God has appeared and is working in China in the last days, and He is using the CCP’s arrests and persecution to perfect the faith and love of His chosen people, to complete a group of overcomers. No matter what kind of oppression or hardships these overcomers face or how much they suffer, and no matter how Satan’s evil forces besiege or disrupt them, they will not lose faith in God, but will continue to obey and be loyal to Him, standing witness and satisfying God. But I hadn’t understood God’s will, so when I encountered the hindrances of my family, the suppression of the CCP, and the snooping of my neighbors and was lacking any personal freedom, I hadn’t seen through Satan’s tricks. I hadn’t clearly seen that Satan was using those tactics to wear down my faith in God and to destroy my relationship with Him. Instead I cared more for the flesh and lived within weakness and negativity; I felt that that kind of life was too depressing and I wasn’t willing to suffer that way any longer. I was also concerned for my future—I realized that my faith in God really was paltry. How was that the testimony of an overcomer? As this occurred to me I felt full of regret and I set my resolve: Even if I am oppressed and monitored by the CCP for the rest of my life, I absolutely will not give up my faith and I particularly will not betray or shame God! Even though the CCP’s surveillance meant I had no way of meeting with brothers and sisters or fulfilling my duty, they would never be able to stop me from having faith or growing close to God’s heart.

Seeing the Essence of the CCP’s Relentless Pursuit

One evening in April 2018 a little after 9 o’clock, a few big, burly men suddenly came into my home. Seeing them left me feeling a bit nervous and I thought, “What are these people doing here so late? I bet they could be the CCP police….” At that thought I wasted no time calling out to God, “Oh God! The CCP’s evil police are here this late to harass me. Please give me strength and the ability to face them.” At that moment, I thought of God’s words: “Do not fear, Almighty God of hosts will surely be with you; He has your back and He is your shield” (“Chapter 26” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). These words from God gave me strength. I knew it was true—God is the Lord of creation and rules over everything. With God behind me I have nothing to fear; I knew that without God’s permission they couldn’t do anything to me. No matter what kind of environment I was facing, I had to be a resounding witness for God and strike back at Satan, the devil in practical ways. Before I had a chance to give it much thought, those burly men had already come to my bedside and without showing any kind of documentation started going through my things. Then I saw Mr. Ge, the captain of the National Security Brigade and immediately thought of that year I had been arrested for my faith in God and how he had tortured me time after time to extort a confession from me. Anger rose up within me and I could no longer keep quiet. I asked, “What are you doing here so late?” One officer said to me ferociously, “You should know what’s good for you! We’ve come to see if you thought over the error of your ways after a few years in prison!” I replied sternly, “Isn’t freedom of belief clearly stipulated by law? I believe in God and am taking the right path in life. I haven’t broken any laws, so what do I have to reflect on?” Mr. Ge’s eyes widened with anger and he barked, “This is called obstinately opposing the country!” Two police officers came in just then holding cameras that were in the process of recording. Seeing how lawless they were I couldn’t keep hold of my own feelings and yelled at them angrily, “Bringing in so many people to harass me this way and making secret recordings without showing any kind of documentation—is there any law in this land? Why can’t you leave an unarmed and defenseless, weak woman like me alone?” I went on like this with them for quite a while; they didn’t leave until 11:00 p.m. or so.

One day a few months later my sister suddenly came to my house and said to me in a panic, “You’re all over the TV, Internet, and newspapers as a major person of interest. The CCP is making a huge fuss, making an example out of you, saying that you’re a leader with The Church of Almighty God. They’re claiming that you’ve destroyed other people’s families and they’ve even concocted other crimes. To the average person who doesn’t know what’s really going on, you’re like a really terrible woman.” She went on, practically pleading, “Don’t keep believing in that….” Once again, I couldn’t keep down the rage in my heart—I was brimming with hatred for the CCP, those terrible devils in opposition to God. How could they fabricate something out of nothing, how could they plant something on me that way? All I wanted to do was believe in and worship God, pursue the truth and live out proper humanity; I wanted to share God’s gospel with more people who were living in pain so that they could accept God’s salvation of the last days. And just for that, the CCP baselessly arrested and sentenced me, and they were still meddling with my family relationships. They had torn my family apart, making my relatives and friends afraid to have anything to do with me, making me an “other” and isolating me. And the CCP was once again distorting the facts, flipping the truth on its head, slandering me, rumormongering and mudslinging on TV, the Internet, and in newspapers. They were just arbitrarily accusing me of crimes so that I’d be utterly discredited. The CCP really is so despicable and evil! I couldn’t help but think about how the CCP has always been resistant to God—since the establishment of the PRC it has condemned Christianity, Catholicism, and other house churches as evil religions and condemned the Bible as evil literature, burning it, destroying it; it’s arrested, imprisoned, and murdered countless Christians and Catholics. Particularly since Almighty God’s gospel of the last days has spread across mainland China and the CCP has seen more and more people turning toward Almighty God it has really panicked, afraid that if the people all believe in God, no one will believe in or follow it anymore. They’re afraid no one will worship it as “the red sun” and its wild ambition, its goal to dominate and control the people won’t be achieved. So the CCP flew into a rage and showed its brutish nature, beginning to madly strike out at and suppress The Church of Almighty God in order to maintain its dictatorship. It has no compunctions about using any despicable tactics to hinder, disturb, and disrupt God’s work and brutally persecute Christians. Plus they fabricate all sorts of rumors and lies online, on TV, and in the newspapers to attack and smear The Church of Almighty God, so that those who don’t know the truth are misled and deceived. They then develop misunderstandings, guardedness, and hatred for Christians who follow God and won’t dare seek or investigate God’s work of the last days. Some even go along with the CCP in resisting God, becoming sacrificial victims of these actions of the CCP. Ultimately, they will be destroyed by God along with the CCP. It really is so sinister—it’s the embodiment of Satan the evil spirit, it’s a devil that swallows up people’s souls, and it is particularly an enemy to God. Just as Revelation says: “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). God’s righteous disposition will tolerate no offense from mankind. The CCP’s evil deeds of madly resisting God and cruelly persecuting God’s chosen people are many, too numerous to record, and long ago incited God’s wrath. In the end, it will suffer God’s righteous punishment. stand witness for GodGod’s word says, “Wherever the incarnation appears, so the enemy is destroyed from that place. China is the first to be annihilated, to be laid to waste by the hand of God. God gives absolutely no quarter to China. Proof of the great red dragon’s progressive collapse can be seen in the continued maturation of the people. This can be obviously seen by anyone. The maturation of the people is a sign of the enemy’s demise” (“Chapter 10” of Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Through God’s words I finally understood that when God’s people all mature to the point that they understand the truth and enter into the reality of life, that will be the day of the CCP’s destruction. God is now prompting the United States to impose sanctions on the CCP, to fully denounce it, to declare war on it. Countries all over the world are denouncing it one after another; international society is forming a united front to isolate it, to surround and suppress it. Internal strife has now appeared within the CCP and it has begun to disintegrate; the outcries of the common people fill the land and they are all rising up to resist the CCP. It is beset with troubles at home and abroad—its outcome is right before our eyes. God has begun to punish the CCP. Clearly seeing what the outcome of the CCP will be bolstered my faith to thoroughly shame Satan at the critical moment and to stand witness for God!

The Oppression Continues but I Go Forward Relying on God

After being put on TV, the Internet, and in the newspapers everyone around here started avoiding me like the plague; they all gave me side-eyes, pointed at me, and gossiped. Once when I was out shopping, right after walking into a store a group of male customers were all staring at me together and whispering, “Isn’t that the woman on TV? She was in prison and was released, and on TV they said….” I can’t put words to the distress I feel when faced with something like this, but I know that they’re only treating me that way because they’ve been taken in by the CCP’s lies. All of this suffering has been created by the CCP.

After that I didn’t want to leave the house, but the CCP police have never rested in their harassment and monitoring of me. Every time they come to my house they come in and yell, “Do you still believe in God or not?” Then all the neighbors come out to stare at me and mock me. I feel bitterly angry—I haven’t engaged in petty thievery, killed anyone, or started any fires, and I really haven’t done anything to break the law or violate discipline. Just because of my faith the CCP sees me as a splinter in its eye, a thorn in its side and oppresses me nonstop, even getting the people around me to reject and humiliate me so that it’s impossible for me to lead a normal life. In the midst of my torment I thought of a hymn of God’s words, “The Most Meaningful Life”: “You are a created being—you should of course worship God and pursue a life of meaning. Since you are a human being, you should expend yourself for God and endure all suffering! You should gladly and assuredly accept the little suffering you are subjected to today and live a meaningful life, like Job, like Peter. You are people who pursue the right path, those who seek improvement. You are people who rise up in the nation of the great red dragon, those whom God calls righteous. Is that not the most meaningful life?” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). God’s words brought me comfort. God coming in the last days and working to save mankind is a golden opportunity, and I have the good fortune to be selected by God to accept His salvation of the last days, to enjoy the nourishment and sustenance of God’s words, to have the chance to stand witness for God in front of Satan—all of this is an enormous blessing, and these things all gain God’s approval. The CCP is a devil that hates and resists God and believing in God in China certainly means suffering the pain of oppression. But it is also through that kind of oppression and hardship that I was able to clearly see the CCP’s demonic essence and experience that God is always by my side using His words to guide and enlighten me so that I have understood many truths, and my faith in God has grown and become purer. Faced with the CCP’s unceasing disruptions and persecution, I have truly experienced the great benefit that suffering this way has brought to my life—this is God’s blessing and grace for me. I have quietly resolved that I will definitely follow the examples of Job and Peter, and no matter what sort of hardships or trials I undergo, I will seek the truth, unwaveringly follow God and take the right path in life, be a firm, resounding witness for God, and live out a life of meaning and comfort God’s heart!

The CCP still hasn’t let up in their surveillance and oppression of me, and the residents’ committee members come practically every day to “care for” me and also get the residents’ group leader and neighbors to constantly keep an eye on me. If they don’t see me through the window for a couple of hours they call my house to see where I’ve gone. I know the road ahead holds many difficulties and obstacles, but I will no longer be disrupted or constrained by them because God is with me, and no matter how difficult, I will rely on God as I go forward.

 

» Read more on our Persecution Testimonies page, or click on the related articles below:

A Young Christian’s Story: How I Grew Under Persecution and Tribulations

God’s Love Was With Me in the Devil’s Dark Prison

I Am Resolved to Follow the Lord to the End

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