At 10:30 a.m. the next day, two people from the National Security Brigade of the Public Security Bureau of my hometown got there in a car. After the local police handed me over to them, the two people handcuffed me and put me into the police vehicle. At 5:30 p.m., we arrived at the PSB station in my hometown. It was already past 6:00 p.m. when they transferred me to the detention center. Then they put me into a cell right away. I said to them, “I need to eat.” The officer said, “Shut up! There is no food for you to eat. Besides, you believe in God, so even if you have no food to eat, you will not be hungry.” That night, they didn’t give me any quilt, so I stayed awake all night. The next morning, at past 8, two policemen handcuffed me, pushed me into the car, and escorted me to the PSB. After arrival, they took me to the interrogation room on the fourth floor and began to interrogate me. A cop said to me, “Do you know where this is, Liu Jian? Anyone who is arrested and taken here cannot easily get out. Look up and see the big characters on the wall ‘Leniency to those who confess, and sternness to those who resist.’ Come clean! Say it! When did you start to believe? Who preached to you? Why did you believe in God? How many people are there in your church?” I answered angrily, “What we believers in the Lord do are good things, and we have done nothing wrong; why do you always arrest us? Why don’t you arrest those who have done something against the law or something bad?” At this moment, an interrogator rushed at me fiercely, seized my handcuffs, and lifted them forcefully, saying, “How dare you be dishonest! I’ll let you taste my toughness.” As he spoke, he hoicked my handcuffs five times; each time he lifted them, the teeth of the handcuffs would prick into my flesh. Then, they pushed me out of the room, after that, they interlinked another pair of handcuffs with the one I was wearing, and then handcuffed me to the bars of the window, suspending me from it. A short while later, my arms got swollen and turned black and due to constricted blood circulation, I fainted with pain. When I woke up, I found myself lying on the ground. At that time, it was already past 11 p.m. and the vicious policemen sent me back to the detention center. After I got there, the more I thought, the angrier I became: I only believe in God and don’t break any laws; why does the CCP government not do things according to the laws? Doesn’t the constitution clearly stipulate freedom of religion? Why are we believers in the Lord unable to receive freedom, but instead suffer inhuman tortures of the China’s ruling party? They are obviously cheating the people. … In pain and refinement, I prayed to the Lord, “Lord! In such a miserable environment, I am very weak when faced with their inhuman tortures. I know that this is Satan’s scheme and I cannot allow its plot to prevail. May You protect me!” After praying, I thought of what the Lord Jesus said, “And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me. He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:38–39). The Lord Jesus’s words gave me faith and strength. That’s right! Since I have believed in the Lord, I must take up the cross and walk the path of sufferings. Furthermore, I must aspire to suffer hardships for the Lord’s sake.
The next morning, at past 8, two policemen took me to the interrogation room on the fourth floor of the PSB station and interrogated me again. A cop said, “Liu Jian, how did you feel about being hung up from the window yesterday? It tasted good, didn’t it? If you still don’t come clean today, there will be a lot for you to suffer. Speak up! How many people have you preached to in this county and outside the county? Tell me the truth!” In order not to sell out brothers and sisters, I answered, “I haven’t preached to anyone, in or outside the county.” On hearing my answer, the evil cop said exasperatedly, “You bastard! Why are you making things difficult for yourself?” Another evil cop ferociously gave me a hard kick, and then several slaps in a row. I felt burning pain in my face, so I prayed to the Lord Jesus in silence, “Lord! Today, I fall into the hand of those in power, and seeing their fierce looks, I feel somewhat afraid and fear that they will torture me till I die here. May You give me boldness and wisdom; moreover, may You protect me and open up a way out for me so that I will not submit to Satan.” At this time, an evil cop roared, “Speak up! If you still refuse to tell, you will be brutally tortured. At that time, I’ll see if you tell or not.” Hearing these words, I hated them bitterly, thinking: My head may break and my blood may flow, but I will stand firm and bear testimony for the Lord. Thinking of it, I didn’t answer them. Seeing that I didn’t want to speak, the evil cops were shamed into anger. They ordered me to sit on the torture-rack, and then inserted the plug in a socket and wanted to burn me with electricity. Their malicious means reminded me of the scene when the Lord Jesus was crucified on the cross, and of His selfless love toward man. For the sake of saving us sinners, the Lord was crucified on the cross, so what is it that I have to suffer this today? Even if I die, it is worth it. At the thought of this, I closed my eyes and clenched my teeth, deciding to endure whatever they would do to me. The wonderful thing was that after they inserted the plug and switched on the power, the torture-rack just couldn’t be energized. They all felt so surprised that they looked at it from left to right, and whispered, “How could it be not energized? It’s really weird!” Then they used a voltage detector to test it to determine whether it was energized, and said, “It’s charged with electricity!” They began to examine it, yet after some time, they still couldn’t make it work. Seeing this, I thanked the Lord for His might and sovereignty from the bottom of my heart. The Lord had seen my firm resolution, so He took away the pain of death from me. I really saw the Lord’s wondrous protection. At this time, an evil cop said, “You are really lucky today, boy. Nonetheless, we have enough means to deal with you.” He went on to say, “You are so young, yet you do nothing decent. And you believe in God. Where is God? There is no God in the world at all, and you should believe in science and the Party. Now, since you believe in God and preach, you should be sentenced to eight or ten years in jail. Even if you don’t consider yourself, you should have some consideration for your children. I advise you to come clean so that you can get out early.” On hearing this, I realized that it was Satan’s scheme. So I didn’t say anything. The cop said angrily, “I tell you! Your problem is very serious and we will continue to investigate it.” Then another cop forced my hand print onto an oral confession. After that, I was sent back to the cell of the detention center. After I got there, the head of the prisoners used all kinds of tricks to torture me. He asked me to squat, wipe the floor, and slop out. Here, what I ate was the remains of the meal and the soup, while what I did was the heavy work. As a result, after one month, I became physically exhausted, and even was unable to move. Despite this, they still didn’t let up. In the end, my family spent 300 RMB seeking personal connections and managed to bail me out. Only thus was I released. After getting out of the prison, I was forced to pay for the food I had eaten in the past one month and three days and to pay more than 400 RMB for a blood test. In addition, the police warned me that after getting home, I must report my daily activities to the village leaders once every ten days and to the leaders of the PSB once a month. What’s more, the CCP government secretly sent people to spy on me day and night.
In early March 1997, a brother came to see me from another part of the country. That made me very happy. At that time, one of my neighbors, who came to borrow something, left at once on seeing a stranger in my house. I sensed that something was wrong, so I asked the brother to leave immediately by another road. Subsequently, the police summoned me to appear at PSB. But I didn’t go. Several days later, two policemen came to arrest me; it was lucky that one of my relatives informed me in advance, and so I could flee the danger. Once again I started my life on the run. At first, I hid in my relatives’ home. Afterward, I went to a church in another area and hid there for two years or more. Although I had fled the sufferings behind bars, I led a homeless life and I was on edge all day, which caused my heart to suffer great trauma and pain. After finding out that I had fled, the County PSB asked my family to find me back. Meanwhile, they declared to people, “Anyone who finds and reports the man will get rewarded.” After that, people from the National Security Team of the PSB went to all villages and towns to have meetings, and loudly proclaimed, “Liu Jian of such-and-such a village, is a big fish of ‘evil cult’ in the county. He has already fled and his whereabouts have been unknown. Anyone reporting him will surely be given a rich reward by the government.” As a consequence, the matter of my faith in God caused an uproar from town and town. Due to their rumors, my relatives and friends all looked at me with disfavor, and even some of them attacked me with the following words, “Your belief in God has brought great disgrace on us. Even a child in this county knows that one of my relatives has been wanted by the CCP government because of his belief in the Lord.” Hearing these words, I felt very bad, yet the Lord’s words always led me forward.
Through my experiences all these years, I have just seen clearly that China is a country resisting God. Although the Chinese constitution expressly stipulates freedom of religion, the fact shows that there is no freedom of religion at all in China; this is nothing but a sheer lie. If not for such sufferings these years, I would still have been deceived by the CCP government. Now, I have just realized that believing in God in China, an authoritarian state, one is bound to be persecuted and abused by the CCP government. Owing to our belief in the Lord, we are also bound to go through the pains of being unable to return home and being displaced. Nevertheless, the guidance of the Lord has always encouraged me to firmly follow Him and walk the path of the cross. Regardless of what untold difficulties are on the road ahead, I will follow the Lord all my life.
Part One: I Will Follow the Lord All My Life (I)