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Bob Fu suffered repeated beatings while in prison before his escape to the United States in 1997. Although Fu now lives in freedom, he still has nightmares bottled up inside himself that he has never shared.

Indeed, most victims of torture, some of them Christians, live alone with their private memories of terror, perhaps not even understanding that they suffer from something that can be treated.

Fu's own transgressions were leading an underground-church training center in a suburb of Beijing, China, while also teaching at an elite school for Communist Party leaders. He also feared that the government would uncover his wife's pregnancy and insist that she have an abortion. Several hospital doctors had already refused to help out of fear of government retribution.

"During the first two days and nights in jail," Fu recalls, "they didn't let me even have a nap but kept asking and asking, rebuking and cursing my beliefs. They gave me little to eat."

When Fu turned his deprivation into a course of fasting and prayer, the police forced him to drink liquid "medicine," causing him further illness. Later, police threw him among hardened criminals who were encouraged to beat him.

"Sometimes, I will dream that I am being chased by my interrogator. I can see his face and hear his name shouted, Yao Da-de! I am running with my wife Heidi and I look back in concern for her. But suddenly we are totally surrounded by the police. Then, I wake up suddenly in sweat-soaked sheets. I look to one side and see my son and to the other and see my wife. I remember I am in America and relax."

The morning after one of his nightmares, Fu says he is unable to concentrate on his seminary studies. But he does not complain. Outwardly, Fu is cheerful and strong. ...

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The Torture Victim Next Door
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March 6, 2000

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