On the run for over ten years, preacher Shi Yuliang from Zhejiang Province is unable to come home, and his family is constantly harassed by the police.
The 49-year-old preacher, Shi Yuliang (pseudonym), from Ningbo, Zhejiang, was arrested in the city of Guangzhou in the spring of 2005 by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) police while attending a meeting with the Church’s foreign staff. During his detention for over a month, the police wounded Shi Yuliang’s waist so that he could not stand up straight. After his release, to avoid detention, Shi Yuliang was forced into exile, not daring to return home for more than ten years. He continues to live in hiding to this day, while his family lives in a constant state of panic and unease.
The “Shouters,” named for their practice of calling the name of the Lord out loud, is a label used by the Chinese regime to designate a large variety of communities, including both the Christian religious movement known in the West as the Local Church or the Recovery Movement and groups that are not part of the Church. During the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese Communist Party branded this Protestant movement, with over 350,000members in six continents, as a “counterrevolutionary organization” and later listed the “Shouters,” without distinguishing into various subgroups, on a national register of xie jiao organizations, misleadingly translated as “cults.” Under Article 300 of the Chinese Criminal Code, being associated with such organizations automatically leads to arrest, detention, or imprisonment.
More than 12 years after Shi Yuliang’s arrest, in November 2017, three local police officers forced entry into Shi’s home and interrogated his mother about Shi Yuliang’s whereabouts and whether he still was a member of the Shouters. Fearing for his safety, Shi’s mother had no choice but to say that he did not believe in the Church’s teachings anymore.
On the afternoon of May 14, 2018, an officer from the local police visited Shi’s home and took pictures of his residence without permission. That night, three police officers appeared at his home again, asking Shi Yuliang’s father, “Where is your son right now? Do you have a phone number that we can contact him with?” He answered that his son was currently in another town and that he did not know his phone number. In response, the officers took photos of the father’s identification information. Shi’s younger sister arrived home at that moment and, seeing police officers, tried to leave, but was stopped. After interrogating her about Shi’s whereabouts, police took recorded her name, work address, phone number, and other personal information. Later, they repeatedly called her on the phone to ask about Shi’s whereabouts.
The next day, police returned to Shi’s home once more, asking over and over again how to contact Shi Yuliang. Finally, helpless, Shi’s family was forced to give them Shi Yuliang’s phone number.
Source: Direct Reports from China