[EN CC] Unmask CCP’s Freedom of Religion – Xiao Rui, The Church of Almighty God

My name is Xiao Rui (pseudonym),
and I’ve believed in Almighty God for 20 years. I was arrested by the CCP in 2009
because of my faith in Almighty God. I was brutally tortured and given a 3.5-year sentence. I’m very fortunate that I’m able to sit here today, because some of the brothers and sisters arrested
for believing in Almighty God just like me were persecuted to death,
some remain missing up to now, and many are still in the CCP’s prison
being subjected to inhuman torture and intense indoctrination. Up to this point, the CCP has performed as many as a million arrests
of Christians who believe in Almighty God; 105 have been persecuted to death, at least half a million have gone on the run
and cannot return home. Yet, the CCP declares to the world that there is freedom of belief in China
and that Christians are not persecuted. I must speak up in the face of such a shameless lie to represent millions of other persecuted Christians, and tell the truth about
the CCP’s brutal persecution against us. On April 4, 2009 I was arrested by police in Zhuzhou City,
Hunan Province along with two other sisters. They didn’t show us any documentation. I asked an officer, “Having faith isn’t illegal
and I haven’t committed any crimes, so why are you arresting me?” The officer responded,
“Your belief in Almighty God is against the law. Your crime is a national priority.” I didn’t understand—I wanted to call out to the world: What’s illegal about believing in Almighty God? Why would I be arrested
as an important national criminal? Why is the CCP so evil, shameless,
and inhumane toward Christians? At the interrogation room,
in an effort to force me to tell them about whereabouts of other brothers and sisters
and the church money, two male officers viciously boxed my ears, hit my head with rolled up books, and used a kind of swinging torture on me. They fixed my wrists with two pairs of handcuffs and restrained them
to the iron window rails high above, and then used a kind of military-grade wrap
to bundle my legs together and tie them to an iron chair. They then pushed the chair forward
and stretched out my body so that it formed a diagonal line, dangling in the air. One of the officers then stomped on my lower legs
and rocked me from side to side. The handcuffs dug deeply into my wrists and soon my hands turned purple. There’s really no way to describe
that kind of piercing pain. Having tortured me like this for 20 minutes,
the police suddenly kicked the iron chair back, and my body became once again
dangled right from the window. They then beat me in the ribs with a water bottle and forcefully pressed
the mouth of the bottle into my ribs. It hurt so much I struggled to breathe. After 15 minutes or so,
they pushed the chair forward once again and made my body dangle in the air,
forming a diagonal line as before. Then the two police officers
began vividly talking about their “glorious history” of torturing other people. Looking at how I was struggling,
they just laughed loudly. After holding me in that position for about 20 minutes, they kicked the chair back,
and I once again dangled straight from the window. Then came in another male police officer,
who is short and stout. As soon as he entered the room,
he asked the other two officers about my situation, and on learning that I didn’t give up any information,
he began to savagely slap my face; those slaps were so hard that my teeth loosened, and he said, “As to believers in Almighty God, there are national orders
that it is nothing to beat them to death.” Then he tightened the handcuffs
as much as he possibly could and signaled the other two police officers to hang me up and push the chair
to stretch my body into a diagonal line. They repeatedly tortured me like this,
suspending me for 12 hours. The handcuffs’ teeth dug into
the back of my hands and drew blood. I was struggling to breathe and my head felt like it was about to burst; my mouth was so dry that I couldn’t swallow. My vision went black and I felt like my awareness became fuzzy. I thought I was about to die—
I felt very afraid and weak. All I could do was keep praying to God in my heart. The CCP says, “It is nothing to beat them to death”— this has become a slogan for persecuting Christians. It is indeed nothing to beat us to death. How could such senseless, immoral satanic saying come from the great, glorious, correct CCP? Could something that is so clearly Satan’s logic be a revelation of the CCP’s evil nature? The next day after 9:00 a.m. they finally let me down. I wanted to use the bathroom, but I couldn’t control my legs
and I had lost feeling in my hands, too. Two male officers carried me into the bathroom and pulled down my pants
right in front of a group of other male officers. They humiliated me with the most evil, foul language. I felt so indignant and wronged, but I could do nothing but cry, because I had no feeling in my hands
and could not pull my pants on. I, a young woman in my 20s,
was publicly humiliated that way. I really wanted to jump
out of that building to my death. But I didn’t think I could do it, and I didn’t want to fail God and His salvation. I knew I had to stand witness for Him; I had to survive so I could denounce the CCP’s crimes,
to tell the whole world. After that they dragged me
back into the interrogation room. With zero strength left in my body,
I collapsed to the ground. The police said that I was faking illness
and a few of them started kicking me viciously until my left side started curling up,
bringing my leg and chest together. Even two male officers couldn’t pull my body straight
and only then did they stop beating me. They handcuffed me onto the iron chair. I was left seated on the ground, unable to move. From the next room
I heard the sound of the police’s torture and my sister’s cries of pain from time to time—
my heart just broke to pieces. I wondered if this was the hell of demons … Two days later I had been tortured to the point
that my whole body was swollen, I was at my last gasp and I kept having convulsions. Only then did the police send me
to the hospital for emergency treatment. My arms were terribly swollen, and my hands were swollen as round as donuts. They were filled with yellow pus, and when a needle was put into a vein
it would bubble up and then ooze blood. The doctor told the police that my situation
was perilous and that I should be hospitalized, but the police said, “Just make sure she doesn’t die.” They then took me back to the interrogation room
and continued their questioning. The police tortured me for six days and six nights, during which time they gave me nothing to eat. They ended up fabricating a confession
and physically forced me to leave my thumbprint on it. This was the “masterpiece”
of the “civilized law enforcement” by the Chinese public security authorities. The police sent me to a detention house
the afternoon of April 10. All I was able to do at the time
was lie on a bed plank; I couldn’t take care of my own basic necessities, and even needed someone else in my ward to feed me. A few days later the police once again
started their continuous interrogations of me, about 18 hours every day. Every time they wouldn’t stop
until they had no choice, because I was going into full-body convulsions. A month later two public prosecutors came to ask me if the police had been trying to extort a confession
with torture, and I said “Yes.” At the time my external wounds were really obvious, but when the prosecutors filled out
the Discipline Inspection Notice, they checked the “No” box for torture. Over the 15 months that I was held
in the detention house I was not allowed to get a lawyer. One day in February 2010
I was taken to court for a secret trial. The only people in the courtroom were a judge, two jurors, and a clerk. The judge asked me if I would confess, and I said, “The constitution stipulates that citizens
enjoy the right to freedom of religious belief. I believe in God, and all I’ve done
is attend gatherings and read God’s words. I haven’t broken any laws.” However, the judge responded, “Your belief in Almighty God is against the law, plus you came all the way to southern China
from northern China to proselytize. That is committing crimes from one place to another!” Four months later,
without any evidence of a crime committed, the court sentenced me to 3.5 years in prison on the charge of “organizing and using a xie jiao
organization to undermine law enforcement,” leaving a lifelong mark on me. On July 9, I was taken to the Hunan Province
Women’s Prison to serve my time. In prison Christians from The Church of Almighty God
and Falun Gong practitioners were put in the “high security ward”
for torture and intense indoctrination. Two other prisoners were assigned
to watch over me night and day, and I was not allowed to take half a step out of my cell
unless I was going to the bathroom. They wouldn’t let me pray and forced me to study Marxism–Leninism
and atheist ideology every single day. I had to watch educational videos indoctrinating
people to love the country and the Party, and they made me write out
what I had learned on a daily basis. When they didn’t like what I had written
they’d yell at me and physically punish me, and they made me sign
“three statements” to renounce my faith. I spent almost three months in the midst of
this unimaginable psychological torture. I was later put into Block 2,
nicknamed “Devil’s Block,” where I had to complete
more than ten hours of hard labor every day. During that time, every day felt like a year. If it hadn’t been for God protecting me,
giving me faith and strength, I would have been tortured to death. I absolutely wouldn’t have been able
to get out of the devilish prison. In October 2012 I was released. Only then did I learn that after my arrest the police had gone to my house twice in mad searches, which forced my elderly parents to flee home. The police had also in my hometown started rumors, slandering me as a fraudster and political prisoner, and they had someone keeping
constant watch over my home. I also learned that in the 2009 mass arrest, most of the major leaders and coworkers
in The Church of Almighty God all over the country had been arrested; Sister Ma Suoping, who was in charge of our work, had been persecuted to death
less than two weeks after her arrest; Brother He Zhexun was sentenced to 15 years; Sister Xiaoding was sentenced to 11.5 years. In January 2013 the CCP started re-arresting and re-sentencing believers who had been arrested and released but continued believing in God. A village official came to my home and demanded
that I sign a statement of guarantee to deny God. I had no choice but to flee home again
and go on the run so I could continue to practice my faith. That evening, before I was about to leave, my parents embraced me in tears, and my father said, “My child, once you’re gone, don’t come back. Please just stay alive and well.” I haven’t seen my mom and dad since then. Thanks to God’s miraculous arrangements
I was able to flee to South Korea in 2016. However, the CCP reaches its evil hands
even across oceans, attempting to extradite
all Christians who fled overseas back to China for further persecution. From 2015 on, the CCP has been harassing those Christians’
family members who are still in China, compelling them to go to South Korea
and stage demonstrations under the pretense of seeking lost relatives, shamelessly saying that
there is freedom of belief in China and Christians are not persecuted. They (the CCP) said that it only suppresses
unlawful religious groups that are xie jiao, and slandered us as false refugees
who should be extradited. Hearing the CCP’s shameless lies incenses me. It has openly torn down and burned
so many churches’ crosses for all to see— is that freedom of belief? In 2018 and 2019, just two years, it openly razed so many beautiful,
magnificent churches to the ground— is that freedom of belief? In just a few short years it has arrested
hundreds of thousands of Christians, many imprisoned and tortured—
is that freedom of belief? Why are nearly three million
Xinjiang Muslims being interned? Why are large numbers of Buddhist temples
and churches across the nation being demolished, and Buddhist monks and Taoist priests
being driven out with no place to live? Is this the freedom of belief that the CCP speaks of? It’s clear to anyone with a modicum of intelligence that the freedom of belief the CCP advertises
is nothing but a lie. It’s just to fool foreigners. But are they lacking intelligence
or an ability to think for themselves? Do they just believe whatever the CCP says? I do not believe that there’s no justice in this world! I was born in China and grew up there,
never knowing what human rights are, what freedom of belief is. I’ve seen Christians all living under the fear
and the stress of potential arrest. They’re all calling out from their hearts— when will the CCP collapse
so that we’ll finally have freedom of belief? Now in South Korea I’ve finally
experienced true freedom of belief. I can openly believe in God with no one condemning my faith as wrong, and no one dares condemn the truths uttered by God. In addition, the government here
has not troubled those of us who have fled to South Korea as refugees. Here I’d like to express my gratitude to
the South Korean government and people for allowing us, Christians
seeking refuge from CCP persecution, to live here for the time being. We also give our thanks
for God’s guidance, care, and protection. The Church of Almighty God is currently established
in at least 20 countries across the globe, and not a single country has condemned the Church; Christians of our Church overseas
all gather and read God’s words as normal, and have not been condemned. So why is it that in China having faith in God—
something so upright, of universal value— is condemned by the CCP government? Why are Christians arrested and imprisoned? Where is the CCP’s so-called freedom of belief? I’ve never seen it. I’ve now been in South Korea for three years. I’ve been missing my family
and I yearn for the day I can be with them again. My parents are old and are not in good health. I want to do my filial duty as their daughter,
but I don’t dare return China because some brothers and sisters
were arrested and imprisoned when they returned to look after their parents, and their whereabouts are still unknown. I learned yesterday that the CCP had issued
another internal document in April, demanding Christians from The Church of Almighty God submit
The Word Appears in the Flesh
within a month, and requiring that they surrender themselves
to the public security bureau within three months, and otherwise be subjected to severe punishment. The CCP is currently using all sorts of despicable
tactics to cause problems here in Korea, slandering us as false refugees,
trying to get us extradited back to China. This is so evil, so despicable! This is clearly an attempt to exterminate Christians,
to pull out the weeds from the roots, to prevent Christians who fled overseas
from tarnishing the CCP’s image abroad as “great, glorious, and correct.” Its intentions are so vile! I truly hope that the South Korean government
and more people of righteousness can take note of the facts of
The Church of Almighty God’s persecution and provide help and protection
for those Christians who have fled overseas, so that our right to freedom of belief,
and our right to survival are ensured. Thank you!

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