A member of a Chinese underground church says she escaped from the communist country after suffering torture and six years in a labor camp where she made Christmas lights and rugs.
Liu Xianzhi said police tortured her, in 2001, into falsely testifying that the pastor of the South China Church, Gong Shengliang, “raped” her, according to the China Aid Association of Midland, Texas.
“When I hear dogs barking, loud knocking on the door, the sound of police sirens, or I see men who are not wearing shirts [like my interrogators], I have an overwhelming sense of fear,” she said.
Liu is one of 8,903 members of the South China Church arrested for their religious beliefs, including Gong, who is serving a life sentence in prison based on multiple confessions allegedly obtained through torture.
Liu, 34, will speak of her experiences tomorrow afternoon at a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., that will include congressmen and human-rights advocates.
Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., Deborah Fikes of the Midland Ministerial Alliance and Joseph K. Grieboski of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy will express their concern about religious persecution in China.
Brownback is chairman of the Helsinki Commission and serves on the Committee on Appropriations; the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation; the Committee on Foreign Relations; and the Joint Economic Committee.
Bob Fu, president of the China Aid Association and a former prisoner of religious conscience, also will release a formal opinion by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
The paper is about the case of a leading historian of the underground church, Yinan Zhang, who was arrested
Sept. 26, 2003, and sentenced a month later to two years of “re-education through labor.”
The historian was convicted of attempting to “subvert the national government” by misinterpreting statements culled from his personal prayer journals and Christian essays, Fu said.
As WorldNetDaily reported, in December, Chinese authorities arrested one of the country’s top Christian leaders, the author of a bold manifesto delivered to the regime.
Zhang Rongliang, 53, who leads one of the largest house church networks in the country with an estimated 10 million members, was was taken into custody Dec. 1 at his apartment in Xuzhai village, Zhengzhou city, Henan province.
All Protestant and Catholic churches in China are required to be under control of the government, and groups that do not register – the vast majority – are included in the list of “illegal cults.”
In September, more than 100 pastors were arrested in Kaifeng city alone, and at least 11 have been sentenced to one to three years of “re-education through labor.”
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