Lu Xi (pseudonym), a thirty-one-year-old member of The Church of Almighty God, a Chinese Christian new religious movement, from the Changping district of Beijing, traveled to Canada and then to the USA at the beginning of May 2018. In Canada, Lu Xi used her cell phone to call a gospel hotline of The Church of Almighty God, which was the cause of problems with authorities when she came back to China.
On May 20, Lu Xi flew from the USA to Beijing, and when she landed in the Capital International Airport, plain-clothed officers from the Beijing National Security Bureau stopped her, showed a search warrant, put a black covering over her head and escorted her to a small dark room. As soon as she entered the room, police started filming and taking pictures of Lu Xi and performed a body search but found nothing. Police then showed Lu Xi a “red header document,” claiming that they wanted her assistance in investigating the status of individuals from The Church of Almighty God overseas. The officers insisted on handcuffing Lu Xi, but she refused. Afterward, police put the black covering back on Lu Xi’s head and took her to a secret interrogation base near the airport.
That evening, at approximately 7 p.m., police searched Lu Xi’s luggage, and found a piece of paper with the phone number of her church’s gospel hotline and matched it to a phone number in her cell phone’s call history. Police immediately took Lu Xi into the interrogation room and fixed her to a metal chair and interrogated her about where she had gotten the piece of paper, and why she had dialed the number, saying that they just wanted to understand the status of The Church of Almighty God abroad. Police tried to persuade Lu Xi to give them information about the church, but when she refused, the officers threatened her, saying, “If you don’t tell us, we’ll search your home and your workplace!” The interrogation lasted for more than six hours, but Lu Xi said nothing.
At 4 p.m. on May 23, fourteen police officers from the Beijing City National Security Bureau escorted Lu Xi home to search her house, but even after more than five hours, they still did not find the evidence they were after. Police then took Lu Xi back to their secret base and repeatedly questioned her about her 2017 visit to Canada and the status of The Church of Almighty God there, asking, “How did you get in contact with the Canadian church? How was your interaction with them? What were their ‘spiritual names’?” Lu Xi refused to answer. Police also searched Lu Xi’s workplace but found nothing.
On the night of May 24, Lu Xi was released, but she is still being monitored by the police.