This book is an exploration of how to effectively protect the freedom of belief and religious freedoms of immigrants to Europe from across the world through legal means.
A Christian’s Testimony: Robbed of Four Years, Accompanied by God’s Love
By Gu Yue, China
Editors’ Note: In recent years, the Chinese government’s religious persecution has become more and more serious. Not only have many churches been shut down, many crosses have been destroyed, and religious beliefs are required to be “Sinicized”. In the midst of this cruel persecution and suppression, religious belief in China is in danger. Christian Gu Yue was arrested by the CCP police for believing in God, after which she was subjected to all kinds of torture, and then sentenced to 4 years in prison despite committing no crime. The guidance in God’s word allowed her, step by step, to get through her long time in jail. It also allowed her to see clearly the ugly satanic face of the CCP government, that it is God’s enemy, and which strengthened herand gave her the resolve to spend her life following God …
A Sudden Arrest, and the Beginning of a Nightmare
On the evening of December 28, 2012, I was at a meeting with my brothers and sisters, when there was a sudden urgent knocking on the door, after which five or six evil policemen broke it down and entered the room. A fiendish-looking male policeman rushed at me, grabbed my collar, and pushed me to the ground, after which he viciously punched me in the chest for about ten minutes. He also pointed at me while shouting, “Don’t give me an excuse! We’ve been surveilling your house for a long time, and today we’ve finally caught you!” I couldn’t feel anything but the pain in my chest. It hurt so much I couldn’t breathe, and I had to open my mouth and gasp for breath. When the policeman tired out from beating me, a female police officer came over to me, viciously grabbed my collar, and began slapping me across the face. Instantly, the stinging on my face was like fire, I saw stars, I was dizzy, and I felt nauseous. She continued for seven or eight minutes. By that point, my face was already numb, and was nearly unconscious. I endured the pain, but I was terrified. Before long, the house had been turned upside down in their search, and in a panic, I was stuffed into the police car.
Looking at the sinister smiles and cold expressions of the police, I couldn’t help but imagine the scenes of my brothers and sisters being beaten and tortured by the CCP. I was gripped by fear. What cruel tortures would they use on me? What would happen if my flesh was too weak to withstand the torture? Helpless, I couldn’t help butand think of God’s words: “Faith is like a single log bridge, those who cling abjectly to life will have difficulty in crossing it, but those who are ready to sacrifice themselves can pass over without worry. If man has timid and fearful thoughts, they are being fooled by Satan. It fears that we will cross the bridge of faith to enter into God. Satan devises every way possible to send us its thoughts, we should always pray that the light of God will shine on us, and we must always rely on God to purify us from Satan’s poison. We shall always be practicing in our spirits to come close to God. We shall let God have dominion over our whole being.” God’s words encouraged me, and gave me confidence and strength. My cowardice and fear came from Satan, which was using my fear of physical suffering and death to attack me. I couldn’t allow myself to fall into Satan’s temptation. I had to have faith and rely on God to stand firm and testify for God. Even if I had to give up my life, I couldn’t betray God! Thinking of that, I was no longer so afraid. No matter what methods they used to harm me, I wished to rely on God and not give in to Satan.
Torture, Interrogations, and the Guidance of God’s Words
Later, I was taken to the local police station, and the police locked my sister and me into a metal cage in the room. After they finished eating, they began the interrogation. I was tied to a tiger bench, and the police constantly demanded information about the church and asked me to sell out my brothers and sisters. But, two hours had passed, and I said nothing. A furious evil police officer shouted through angry breaths, “Take her away!” Two more dragged me into the hallway. My arms were sore beyond telling, and my legs were so swollen and painful that I couldn’t walk. There was a 6-centimeter thick metal heating pipe in the hallway. They tied my hands to it, suspending me so that only my toes could touch the floor. All my strength was focused in my arms and calves. I suddenly felt the feeling go out of both arms, and the pain I felt all over my body was as if I was being ripped apart. My heart thundered in my chest, and it was difficult to breathe. I could blurrily make out eight or nine evil policemen walking past and looking at me. I was afraid, and I was dizzy and insensible after hanging so long. I didn’t know how much longer I could last, and I was worried that in a muddle-headed moment I might reveal church information. I prayed constantly in my heart, “God! My stature is too small to bear such torture. I’m afraid, in an unconscious moment, I might give away church information. God! May You lead me and give me the strength to overcome them!”
At that time, I thought of A hymn of God’s words, “While undergoing trials, it’s normal for people to be weak, or have negativity within them, or to lack clarity on God’s will or their path for practice. But in any case, you must have faith in God’s work, and not deny God, like Job.” I sang silently in my heart, thinking of how Job, during his trials, lost his vast herds, had his wealth stolen, and his children killed, and also suffered physical pain, but he never blamed or denied God, and instead praised God all the same. Job’s faith and obedience to God humiliated Satan and he stood firm for God. Through the guidance of God’s word, I understood God’s will. This miserable environment required me to have faith in God. No matter how the CCP police tortured me, I had to follow Job’s example, and not blame or deny God, nor could I become Satan’s laughingstock. I had to stand firm and testify for God! In pain, I prayed over and over to God, asking for guidance and faith. Slowly, I began to feel calmer.
After the evil police had me suspended for half an hour, I had completely lost all feeling in my arms, but the barbs on the interior of the shackles bit deep into my flesh, causing sharp pain. I started to shiver, and my calves were swollen and painful, as if I had pulled a muscle. The evil Officer Ma walked to me, and pointing at me, scolded hatefully, “This is what happens when you don’t talk! We have all kinds of ways to deal with you!” After that, they took me down, and as they did, one of them twisted one of my arms around until I heard a thick crunching. Pain shot through my wrist as if it had been broken. Before I had time to think any further, they dragged me into another room. Another evil police officer, named Yang, aggressively shouted at me and tried to poison my mind with rumors they had fabricated against The Church of, and also spoke words that blasphemed and resisted God. Indignant, I rebuked them and testified that God’s righteous disposition brooks no offense. Their exasperated Chief Mao showed me pictures of my brothers and sisters and asked me to identify them, all of which I refused. When Chief Mao didn’t get the information he wanted, he viciously punched me repeatedly in the face, shouting as he did so, “Will you tell me? If you don’t, I’ll beat you to death!” When he finished, I was seeing stars and my ears were ringing. My head and face were so swollen I couldn’t raise them. In that moment, my teeth felt like they would fall out, and saliva poured from my mouth. To this day I can’t even chew soft food with my teeth.
The police used all kinds of torture to torment, intimidate, and frighten me, all to gain the church’s information and wealth so that they could arrest and harm more brothers and sisters. They hoped to arrest and assassinate all Christians, disrupt and disturb God’s work, and make God’s work to save mankind come to nothing. The more cruelly the CCP government persecutes Christians, the more clearly its demonic essence of hating the truth and God become visible. Just as God’s word says, “It wishes to wipe out God’s all in one blow, to again insult and assassinate Him, and attempts to tear down and disturb His work. How could it allow God to be of equal status? How can it tolerate God ‘interfering’ with its work among men on earth? How can it allow God to unmask its odious face? How can it allow God to disrupt its work? How could this devil, fuming with rage, allow God to govern its court of power on earth? How could it willingly admit defeat? Its odious countenance has been revealed for what it is, hence one finds himself not knowing whether to laugh or cry, and it is truly difficult to speak of. Is this not its essence?” Clearly seeing the ugly satanic face of the great red dragon, that it is God’s enemy, encouraged me to stand firm and testify for God, and made me even more resolved to follow God and not betray Him.
After Getting Nothing Asking for Church Information, the Torture Escalates
When the police saw that I wouldn’t give up the church’s information, they became even more violent. Chief Mao told his subordinates to drag me outside. By this point it was after 9 in the evening, and Chief Mao stripped off my clothes as he scolded me. He savagely said to me, “You’ll freeze to death out here tonight!” Another one of these evil police said viciously, “Either bury her alive or torture her to death and be done with it! Stop wasting time on her!” When I heard that, I knew I had truly landed in the tiger’s mouth, and that things would go badly for me here. I might not get out alive. All I could do was pray over and over to God to pledge to die before I become a Judas and betray God.
Wearing only a thin shirt in the bitterly cold winter weather, I sat half-squatting as I clung to a big tree trunk about the thickness of a bucket. My arms were just long enough to wrap around it, I was unable to sit or squat, and the handcuffs binding my wrists there were so tight they dug painfully into the bone. My back, waist, and legs ached beyond telling, I was so cold I was shivering and my teeth were chattering, and my body was shaking all over. At that moment, I really didn’t know how long I could hold on! That was when one of the police, pretending to be kind, said, “Why are you letting yourself suffer like this? I can see that you’re a good person. All you have to do is tell us what we want to know, and then identify a few people for us, and this can be over. Those brothers and sisters of yours are inside, but you’re out here suffering for them. Is this really worth it?” After hearing him, I couldn’t help but feel weak. If the CCP police continued to torture me like this, I could die, and no one would ever know. As my weakness tormented me, I prayed constantly to God, and then I suddenly recalled God’s words, “When people are ready to sacrifice their lives, everything becomes trifling, and no one can get the better of them. What could be more important than life? Thus, Satan becomes incapable of doing any more in people, there’s nothing it can do with man.” And another verse, “For whoever will save his life shall lose it: and whoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25). God’s words gave me faith and strength. That’s right, the more I feared being tortured and dying, the more easily I would fall for Satan’s tricks, deny God, and betray God. If I was ready to sacrifice my life to stand firm and testify for God, Satan would be humiliated and defeated! I thought of how the CCP government so cruelly persecutes us merely for believing in God and spreading the, and on top of that, uses all kinds of tricks to tempt us into betraying God. It’s truly despicable and evil! In the face of this gang of satans and devils who resist God and are very cruel, I all the more needed to stand firm and testify for God to humiliate Satan! When I realized this, I found the resolve to bear suffering, and my fleshly pain was eased somewhat. At this time, I thought another hymn of God’s words, “Without a cooperative heart, it is difficult to receive the work of God; if the flesh does not suffer hardships, there are no blessings from God; if the spirit does not struggle, Satan will not be ashamed.” As I sang the hymn in my heart, I became more determined to fulfill my oath to die to follow God.
After an hour had passed, with the cold and my aching body, I felt as though I was frozen stiff. I couldn’t open my eyes or my mouth, I had lost all sensation from my head to my toes, I was barely conscious, and I could only indistinctly make out what they were saying. Two of the evil police walked toward me. One of them grabbed my hair and forcefully wrenched my head around while the other shone a flashlight in my face and said my name. When they saw I was on the brink of death, one of the evil police said, “If she stays out here any longer she’ll freeze to death. Drag her inside!” They dragged me back into the building and handcuffed my arms and legs to a chair. I was already at the limits of my strength, in so much pain I was trembling all over, and nearly frozen stiff. They were changing shifts, and I wanted to close my eyes and rest for a moment, but an evil female officer battered me awake with a book, unwilling to let me close my eyes and sleep. All I could do was pray and rely on God. And so, I sat there until the sun came up, having gone the whole night without sleep, my head was heavy and dizzy, and I had a splitting headache! With their interrogation proving fruitless, the police finally brought me to the detention center.
Sentenced to Four Years Without Reason, Always Accompanied by
I don’t know how many days later, a female prison officer called me to the lowest floor of the building. There, I saw the brothers and sisters who were arrested with me, one of whom was my husband. I saw that the shackles on his ankles were thicker and heavier than mine. He had to walk by lifting them with his hands. Then, we were taken to the court, where I was sentenced to four years in prison for “disturbing social order” and my husband was sentenced to five and a half years. I was indignant when I heard the judgment. We believed in God and spread the gospel. We didn’t steal, rob, or break the law, so why were we punished and sentenced to such long prison terms? How could I survive this four-year sentence? My heart was deeply tormented, and I quickly prayed to God. With God’s guidance, I remembered these words of God, “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.” The guidance in God’s words made me understand God’s will. To believe in God and walk the correct path in life in a nation ruled by the atheist CCP requires suffering and paying a price, as well as bearing misery to gain the truth and testify God, which are very meaningful things. I thought of how Job and Abraham had borne fleshly torment and offered up what they loved to stand firm and testify for God. Today, in my situation, God had given me genuine faith and love, allowed me to gain more of the truth from my environment, and allowed me to gain experience in life. That I was able to bear suffering for righteousness was my glory, so I couldn’t blame or betray God because of my own fleshly torment, and even more so, I should have the resolve to pursue the truth and comfort God’s heart. When I thought of these things, I didn’t feel so miserable.
Then, I began my slow, arduous life in prison. From the moment I entered my cell, the prison guards began to humiliate me, forcing me to strip naked in front of hundreds of people. They classified me as a serious criminal, and assigned another inmate to be my full-time “monitor.” I required her permission to do simple things like eat, go to the bathroom, go into the TV room, or shower, and in my cell I could only sit in corners she designated. I had no freedom at all. More than that, when I ate I had to eat her leftovers, she was allowed to beat me whenever anything dissatisfied her, and I had to write “self-reflections” every day, with the punishment for writing them badly being cleaning the floor, and having to squat and watch her sleep while not being allowed to sleep myself. The guards told all my cellmates to stay away from me, saying, “You should all avoid her, she’s a believer in God, a serious political prisoner!” Aside from this “special” treatment, there were also daily “exercises” led by a murderer (a managing prisoner) in drill steps and marching, which we had to take part in for more than two hours a day at noon in the summer, regardless of the heat. Because of my high blood pressure, I often wasn’t able to keep my balance while marching, but when I wobbled, I was frequently beaten for it.
In addition to the marching, there was also heavy physical labor. I was assigned to the ironing workshop, more work was arranged for me than for others, and I was scolded more than the others. Because of the overwork, I often felt dizzy and drained of strength. I swayed when I walked and twice fainted and fell to the ground, but I still wasn’t allowed to rest. I also had to work overtime in the shop. They didn’t care whether I lived or died. I spent every day in suffering and misery. I couldn’t sleep at night, my eyes were always swollen. It was hell on earth. In my pain, I could only pray to God, silently think of God’s words, and ask God to give me faith and strength.
For those four years, almost every night, I could hear the heartbreaking cries from the four solitary confinement rooms downstairs. The prisoners were crazy, were mentally disabled, and some even killed themselves by swallowing magnetic metal shards because they couldn’t stand the torment. Every cry awoke me from sleep, and since then I have suffered from angina. Sometimes, from my window, I saw the prisoners in the solitary confinement rooms being tortured by a group of people. Some were suspended high above the ground by their hands on metal racks, their mouths covered with wide tape, and their legs strapped to the rack as well. They were frozen and hungry outside, and sometimes hungry prisoners even ate the crumbs from food wrappings in the garbage cans. I wanted nothing more than to immediately flee from this hell on earth.
When my torment was greatest, I began singing a hymn of God’s words in my heart, “The kingdom is expanding in humanity’s midst, it is forming in humanity’s midst, it is standing up in humanity’s midst; there is no force that can destroy My kingdom. Of My people who are in the kingdom of today, which of you is not a human being among human beings? … Have you ever accepted the blessings that you were given? Have you ever sought the promises that you were made? You will surely, under the guidance of My light, break through the stranglehold of the forces of darkness. You will surely not, in the midst of darkness, lose the light guiding you. You will surely be the master of all creation. You will surely be anbefore Satan. You will surely, at the downfall of the kingdom of the great red dragon, stand up amid the myriad throngs to bear witness to My victory. You will surely be resolute and unwavering in the land of Sinim. Through the sufferings you endure, you will inherit the blessing that comes from Me, and will surely irradiate within the entire universe with My glory.” In the past, I didn’t understand God’s blessing, but through experiencing this arrest and persecution, I realized that all environments are God’s blessings. God wants to gain a group of people in the last days who have experienced hardship and persecution, who can still follow God to the end despite the oppression of all kinds of evil forces, and who can stand firm and testify for God even if it costs them their lives. These are the overcomers spoken of by God, the elite soldiers of God’s kingdom. Only people like this are qualified to enjoy God’s approval and blessings. As I sang this song, I was very encouraged, and found the confidence to follow God to the end. In this way, I relied on God and finished my work every day, and the prisoners around me began to see that I was very calm and steady, that I wasn’t someone troublesome, just a hard worker, for which they liked me very much, and sometimes they helped me to work. I knew that with this, God had opened up a path for me.
After Four Years in Prison, Finally Seeing the Light Again
I finally came through the long darkness of my four years in prison thanks to God’s care and protection. After I served my sentence, I was released. When I got home, I learned that my family’s minimum living allowance had been cancelled because I believed in God. The prison police also sent notice to the local police station that I was to have “continuing education” for another 3 years, which meant that they had to follow me wherever I went, and that they had to call me at all hours of the day, making it impossible for me to have any peace. Almost every night, as I slept, I was suddenly awakened in the middle of the night, making me anxious and making it impossible to sleep soundly. Because of the injury to my wrists during my torture, even today I can’t do simple things like laundry, and I still experience unbearable pain daily in my arms, waist, and legs, and I still have high blood pressure, heart problems, and my body is very weak. Later on, I couldn’t stand the long-term harassment of the police, and had to leave home and go into hiding. Being harmed time and again by the CCP made me see clearly its demonic essence. As the word of God states, “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! Who has embraced the work of God? Who has laid down their life or shed blood for the work of God? For generation after generation, from parents to children, enslaved man has unceremoniously enslaved God—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, do not allow it to run rampant any longer, and do not permit it to kick up as much trouble as it wishes anymore! Now is the time: Man has long since gathered all his strength, he has devoted all his efforts, paid every price, for this, to tear off the hideous face of this demon and allow people, who have been blinded, and have endured every manner of suffering and hardship, to rise up from their pain and turn their backs on this evil old devil.”
God’s word exposes the truth of the CCP’s demonic essence. Their claims of “serving the people” and “religious freedom” are the opposite of what they actually do. These are only lies they use to deceive people. I thought of how, since God’s work in the last days began in China, the Chinese government has been racking its brains to disrupt, disturb, and destroy God’s work. They frantically pursue, track, and monitor Christians, use all manner of cruel tortures to ruin Christians, and make us endure all kinds of inhuman treatment to destroy our will, so that we shun and betray God. They have always used means like abuse and mistreatment, planting false evidence and framing people, creating rumors and defamation, distorting the facts, inverting right and wrong, and other vicious, sinister means. Human life means nothing to them, and in every way they try to block people from coming to God and accepting God’s salvation. They torment and destroy people, and have tortured and killed countless Christians, caused countless others to lose their ability to work and become disabled, and destroyed the families of countless more, forcing them to leave their wives and children…. We only worship the Creator of all things on earth, yet they abuse and trample upon us. They are nothing but a group of devils who swallow the people’s souls!
I have been out of prison for more than a year now. I think back on how, in the past four years or so, when I was tortured and my life hung by a thread, and I felt weak and negative, God’s words comforted and encouraged me and allowed me to overcome the valley of death; when I couldn’t bear its humiliation and nearly fell into Satan’s temptations, God’s words awakened me and gave me the strength and courage to overcome Satan, and strengthened my faith in following God. During my experience, I felt God’s love, and I emerged alive from a hell on earth. This was all thanks to God’s guidance and protection. It was God’s words that give me faith and strength. At the same time, I also realized that although the CCP’s persecution is cruel, this environment increased my faith in God, and gave me a little understanding of God’s benevolent essence, but more importantly, showed me the cruelty and viciousness by which Satan harms people, and gave me discernment into its evil, sinister essence. I was able to loath and betray Satan from the bottom of my heart, and was determined to pursue the truth, fulfill my duties, and comfort God’s heart!
Click here to watch more: “Chronicles of Religious Persecution in China”: Chinese Christians’ Grisly Tale Christian Video
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