Three house church co-workers were arrested during a religious meeting; during their detention, police officers beat two of them up.
On May 14, 2012, at approximately 11 a.m., the chief of a local police station in Yuechi county of Guang’an, Sichuan, brought several plain-clothed police officers to the home of Xu Xinqiang (pseudonym) to apprehend him for his belief. Since he was not home, the station chief tore down the cross hanging on his wall in a rage, ripped it into pieces, and threw it on the ground, then used a blade to scrape off the markings on the wall left behind by the cross.
The officers went on to search for Xu Xinqiang and found him and two of his co-religionists, Zhang Xiuhua and Wei Xianglin (both are pseudonyms), at a Christian’s home nearby. After ransacking the place, the chief raised the Bible and other religious materials found during the search in the air, saying, “I’ve got the evidence right here. There’s no running now.” The three believers were escorted to a local police station for interrogation.
The police officer who interrogated Xu Xinqiang repeatedly demanded to know the names of the church leaders, how many members there were in the congregation, and where the church kept its money. At approximately 4 p.m., the three were escorted to the Yuechi county National Security Brigade for further interrogation, but to no avail. An hour later, they were sent to the Yuechi County detention center.
At approximately 9 a.m. on May 16, two police officers took Xu to the embankment outside the detention center, ordered him to stand still, and tried to force out of him the duties that his fellow co-workers Zhang Xiuhua and Wei Xianglin had at the church, as well as other church-related information. Xu Xinqiang refused, and one police officer, exasperated, forcefully struck Xu Xinqiang’s back, hands, and legs with a 70-centimeter-long wooden log, threatening to beat him to death if he refused to answer their questions. After about 15 minutes of beating, Xu Xinqiang had wounds all over his back, hands, and legs.
Wei Xianglin was interrogated the same afternoon. Officers severely beat him for 20 minutes after he refused to talk. He was detained for 15 days, and Zhang Xiuhua and Xu Xinqiang – for 12 days.
One day in April 2013, the same local police station chief and four plain-clothed police officers returned to Xu Xinqiang’s home to question him about his faith and threatened him that he would no longer be allowed to believe in God.
Reported by Yao Zhangjin
Yao Zhangjin (uses pseudonyms for security reasons) is from Chengdu, Sichuan. He was baptized into the Christian faith during his university studies. It was also at that time when he learned about the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Christians in China. Several times, he has witnessed believers being arrested. Yao writes about these incidents and submits his articles for publication in various overseas media outlets. Now he joins Bitter Winter and is a special correspondent covering Sichuan, Chongqing, and some other regions.