Another Special Life in Christ
These testimony lives are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!
She never broke when she was tortured with
beatings and electrical shocks, and even when she was close to death she refused to disclose
the names of members of her congregation or sign a statement renouncing her Christian
But now, months later, Ma Yuqin abruptly chokes
and her eyes well with tears as she recounts her worst memory: as she was being battered in
one room, her son was tortured in the next so that each could hear the other's screams, as
encouragement to betray their church.
"They wanted me to hear his cries," she said,
sobbing. "It broke my heart."
Ma, a steel-willed woman of 54, was brave enough
to tell her story of the persecution that Christians sometimes still face in China. Dozens of
members of her church are still imprisoned, and those who are free are under tight scrutiny,
but several church members dared to meet me for a tense interview after we all sneaked one by
one into an unwatched farmhouse near Zhongxiang, a city in central China, 650 miles south of
China is in many ways freer than it has ever been,
and it is easy to be dazzled by the cell phones and skyscrapers. But alongside all that
sparkles is the old police state. Particularly in remote areas like this, police can arrest
people and torture or kill them with impunity, even if they are trying to do nothing more
than worship God. Accordingly, Washington must press China hard to observe not only
international trade rules, but also international standards for human
Secret Communist Party documents just published in
a book, China's New Rulers, underscore the grip of the police. The party documents say
approvingly that 60,000 Chinese were killed, either executed or shot by police while fleeing,
between 1998 and 2001. That amounts to 15,000 a year, which suggests that 97 percent of the
world's executions take place in China. And it's well documented that scores of Christians
and members of the Falun Gong sect have died in police custody.
In some parts of China, Christians worship
completely freely. But in other areas, the authorities brutally crush the independent
churches. That's what happened to the South China Church, an evangelical Christian
congregation active here.
Ma said she and her family were sleeping one night
in May 2001 when police burst into her house and arrested her, her son and her
daughter-in-law. The police left her 5-year-old grandson alone with nobody to take care of
him. A 27-year-old friend and fellow Christian named Yu Zhongju, who had dropped by the
house, was promptly arrested as well.
Yu died in custody, and one can surmise that she
was beaten to death. According to interviews with church members and statements smuggled out
of prison, dozens of church members were arrested at the same time and were beaten with
clubs, jolted with cattle prods and burned with cigarettes; when they fainted, buckets of
water were poured on them to revive them. Interrogators stomped on the fingers of male
prisoners and stripped young female prisoners naked and abused them.
"They used the electrical prods on me all over,"
Ma said, fighting back the tears again. "They wanted to humiliate us."
The government initially sentenced five church
members to death. Ma herself was released because she was so sick that the authorities feared
she would die in prison, but her son, Long Feng, was sent to labor camp, where the guards
told criminals to beat him up.
One of the ironies of Christianity in China is
that in the first half of the 20th century, thousands of missionaries proselytized freely but
left a negligible imprint. Yet now, with foreign missionaries banned and the underground
church persecuted, Christianity is flourishing in China, with tens of millions of
To his credit, President Bush has emphasized the
issue of religious freedom in China, and there is progress. Last month a court overturned the
death sentences of the South China Church leaders, replacing them with long prison terms.
Increasingly, a historic change is visible: citizens of China are becoming less afraid of the
government than it is of them.
I had assumed that Ma, like all the other church
members I interviewed, would not want her name published. "No," she s aid firmly, "use my
name. I'm not afraid. The police are afraid of foreign pressure, but I'm not afraid of
Sat, Nov. 30, 2002: Repressed Christianity flourishes in China
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, New York Times, from Zhongxiang,
An individual's story of man's inhumanity to man.
***give me your comments about this
(posted 1 December 2002)
You have just read a very brief example of the
powerful, supernatural transformation of a person's life which is possible through the
acceptance of Jesus as your savior. Are you tired of life as it now is for you? He will
accept you just as you are right this second! Consider accepting Jesus now