Persecution Strengthened My Faith in Jesus Christ

By Aihua

When I was 16 years old, I was poor in health and always sick. My mother said to me: “Believe in Jesus!” And then I attended gatherings at meeting places around my home. At the time, we gathered every night. Once, when my stomach was extremely aching, the preacher and brothers and sisters prayed for me together and soon, my illness was gone. From then on, I was even more certain that the Lord Jesus was the true God, so I resolved: I’ll follow the Lord to take up the way of the cross all my life.

One day in December 1993, tribulation came upon our church. While we were having a gathering, a gang of twenty-odd people burst into our meeting place, including ten-odd policemen and policewomen, and some cadres from my county and village, and they brought a video recorder along with them. I saw that their faces were full of anger, and some of them laughed hideously. They drove us outside the door, ordered us to squat on the ground, and didn’t allow us to move. (At that time, twenty-odd brothers and sisters were present.) Afterward, they started to ransack the house for the Bibles like bandits. They searched every corner of the house but failed, so they loaded their vehicle with all the necessities of life such as food, quilts, and so on. Meantime, they videotaped us. After having us squat for more than an hour, they took us to the local government office, and interrogated each of us.

They took me to a room and ordered me to sit on the cold concrete floor and straighten my legs. A policeman, who was 1.8 meters tall and weighed about 90 kilos, pressed down my tiptoes and ground them from side to side with his feet in leather shoes, his eyes glinting with danger. At the time, it hurt so bad that I kept praying to the Lord, and asked Him to give me faith so that I could bear such affliction. The policeman angrily asked me: “Who is your leader? Who preaches to you? Where is he from?” I answered: “We attend meetings alone without others.” Hearing what I said, the police was angry and impatient. He stared at me, raised his hand and slapped my face four times fiercely. Instantly I saw stars and felt searing pain in my face. Soon, my face swelled, and my eyes couldn’t see things clearly. Then I thought: It’s bad. My feet surely can’t walk and my eyes can’t see. At the time, the policeman asked: “Who is it that preaches to you? Where does he live?” Seeing their ferocious looks, I couldn’t help feeling scared, but then I thought that the Lord Jesus said: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). The word of the Lord gave me strength, and made me realize: Cruel as these policemen were, they were all controlled in the Lord’s hands. I needn’t fear them because our Lord is the God who created everything and who rules men’s life and death. No matter what happens, I will never sell brothers and sisters and be Judas. Judas sold the Lord Jesus and was punished by the Lord, ending up with all his inward parts gushing out. This was the wrath of God. I mustn’t offense God.

Later, I thought of the Lord Jesus’ word: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever will save his life shall lose it: and whoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Mat 16:24–25). The word of the Lord gave me courage. I said justly to them: “Does the government say everyone enjoys freedom of religious belief? We don’t go against the law; why do you arrest us?” A policeman said: “Freedom of religious belief? We are just saying it. In China, it is the CCP that rules. You must believe in the CCP. If you wanna believe in God, first you must obey us. That is, you must believe in God as we say. Speak! Who is the preacher?” I said: “I can’t betray the Lord like Judas did.” At this moment, another policeman came in and asked: “How’s it going?” The policeman who interrogated me answered: “She said she wouldn’t be Judas.” The policeman who came in just now said: “They all are the same. They all say they can’t be Judas.” After that, the policeman who interrogated me no longer questioned me. That made me realize that Satan is a paper tiger; when we hold to the Lord’s word and be faithful to the Lord, it retreated. Meantime, I saw the miraculous deeds of the Lord: My feet didn’t ache; my swollen face gradually began to subside; I could see things clearly. Because of the protection of the Lord, I no longer felt scared. I constantly thanked the Lord within.

Then, the police took the three brothers away who were arrested together with me. They handed the rest of us over to cadres of the local government and the county, letting them torture us. At this point, I heard a cadre said: “Carry them to the highway and let the cars run over and kill them.” And then, two tall men came to lift me. I was a thin woman and my weight was less than 40 kilos, but unexpectedly, before they had gone 30 meters, they couldn’t lift me and move forward. They mumbled incessantly: “She’s really heavy!” After they said this, they threw me to the ground angrily and went away in dejection. At this moment, people gathered around me. Some of them judged me; some mocked and slandered me. I felt embarrassed and discouraged to see them. At this point, I thought of the Lord’s word: “Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” (Mat 5:11). I also thought of a hymn, saying: “I have forsaken everything and taken up the cross to follow the Lord. The bliss, profit and fortune of the world are meaningless to me. The Lord has never treated me poorly. Who is as sweet as the Lord? Why is my heart trembling with fear? I should not look back, having put my hand to the plough. … The way ahead covered in brambles and thick dark cloud, it’s increasingly hard to take the way of the cross. Since the Lord has borne all this, I shed tears within to satisfy the Lord.” Thinking of these words, I felt a kind of strength spring up in my heart and thought it was my honor that I could experience these sufferings because of keeping the name of the Lord. And I didn’t feel ashamed, but rather thought that my believing in the Lord was a very proud and just thing. Therefore, I stood up, straightened my back and went home on foot.

Later, a sister told me: That night, the police had the videotape of arresting us on the TV news, which lasted three days. Additionally, the newspaper published it as well. They confused right and wrong, fabricated kinds of rumors to smear and frame us, saying that we deviated from the right way and disturbed the social order. The police then went to our church for the next three days and took away the Bibles and books of hymn. After that, they even dug over the ground in the house with a pickaxe and then filled it with water. … Despite that, we still tried to find any possible opportunity to have meetings under all kinds of persecution and obstruction of the CCP in China. Regardless of how serious and bad the situation was, their persecution had never shaken our faith in following the Lord.

Through experiencing the CCP’s persecution, though I suffered hardship in my flesh, I tasted the Lord’s care and protection: At every crucial moment, it was the Lord’s hands that protected me from Satan’s affliction; when the suffering of mine and brothers and sisters had reached a certain point, it was also the Lord’s word that guided us and gave us faith and courage so that we would absolutely not be Judas, but would stand testimony for the Lord. At the same time, through experiencing such tribulation, I saw the true colors of CCP persecuting religious beliefs and being hostile to God. It claims that everyone enjoys freedom of religious belief, but actually, its persecution of religious beliefs is the cruelest in the world. If we were not practically experienced its persecution, we couldn’t see through its ugly face of hypocrisy, sinisterness, maliciousness. Whereas, no matter how it persecutes us, it can’t shake the foundation of our belief. From the testimonies that numerous Christians have stood for the Lord after they were arrested and thrown into the prison and suffered tortures, it can be proved: The CCP’s persecution can only strengthen our resolve to follow the Lord to take up the way of the cross. All the glory be to the Lord! Amen!

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