My elder brother's name is Zhang Wu-ji (a Christian evangelist), who lived in Bai Yu Village, Henan Province of south central China. In 1984 at age 49, the Public Security Bureau of Yuzhou City persecuted him to death because of his Christian belief.

My brother had been persecuted many times for his belief. The last one began at noon, May 12, 1983, when the officers from the Public Security Bureau called him out from his home to outside the village. He was brought on the charges of "being a counterrevolutionary, having illicit relation with foreign countries, possessing a transmitter-receiver, receiving salary from foreigners." In a fury, those officers used an electric baton to hit him until he was lying unconscious. He was in their hands for over one month.

Later … under the guise of medical treatment, they forced him to drink a kind of medicine. Knowing that it was white arsenic, a poison, my brother refused. Then several officers pressed him, forcibly prying open his mouth and pouring the poison down his throat. But seeing that he did not die, the officers said in surprise, "It is weird; this guy is still alive!" Again they pried open my brother's mouth, inserting the baton into it. A finger-sized hole was burned into his tongue.

After believing that my brother was on the verge of death, (police) gave us a notice to bring my brother home.

Following some treatments at home, we unexpectedly heard him speaking. At my request he then told me the details of his tortures. Sadly, medical treatment failed him. My brother died on August 10, 1984.

—Zhang Rong-hua (the victim's sister)

Related Elsewhere

Other personal stories from the archive of China persecution include:

China Persecution Dossier: Shi Yun-ChaoBeaten for Hosting Bible Studies.
China Persecution Dossier: Gu XiangmeiSurviving on "tiger's diarrhea."

Also appearing on our site today:

"New" China: Same Old TricksTop communists, despite their denials, endorse arrest and torture of Chinese Christians by the thousands.
What China's Secret Documents RevealThe New York archive of religious persecution in China contains numerous government documents that show how the government controls religion.
The Unlikely ActivistHow a bitter athiest helped besieged Christians—and became a believer.

Freedom House has a press release on the documents, as well as the full text of Li's report with an analysis (pdf) of the contents.

The State Department's 2001 International Religious Freedom Report on China said the "government seeks to restrict religious practice to government-sanctioned organizations and registered places of worship and to control the growth and scope of the activity of religious groups."

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See Christianity Today'sBearing the Cross article on the persecution of Christians in China.

Previous Christianity Today stories about persecution in China include:

Gong's 'Accusers' Claim Torture Induced False ConfessionsLetters from imprisoned Christian women in China describe assaults with electric clubs. (Feb. 1, 2002)
Church Leader Gets ReprieveChina's case against Gong Shengliang now on hold. (Jan. 24, 2002)
Chinese House Church Leader Granted Time to Appeal Death SentenceSentence likely to be commuted to imprisonment, but church remains in danger. (Jan. 8, 2002)
Free China's ChurchThe Communist country may ease some religious restrictions, but they still want an apolitical church. (January 3, 2002)
Communists May Recognize Independent ChristiansCommunist leaders in China are preparing to give formal recognition to unregistered religious groups, but house-church leaders are wary. (November 19, 2001)
Changes in China's Religious Policy Imminent?Several respected house-church leaders consulted about official registration. (November 16, 2001)
House Churches May Be 'Harmful to Society'But China's unofficial congregations resist "evil cult" label. (Jan. 25, 2001)
China's Religious Freedom Crackdown Extends to ForeignersIt is against the law for visitors to teach the Bible in China's house churches. (Nov. 13, 2000)
China's Smack Down53 Christian professors, students, and church-planters detained. (Sept. 11, 2000)
House Approves Divisive U.S.-China Trade PactBut will permanent normal trade relations status help human rights? (May 25, 2000)
China Should Improve on Religion to Gain Permanent Trade Status, Commission SaysReligious liberty in Sudan and Russia also criticized. (May 8, 2000)
A Tale of China's Two ChurchesEyewitness reports of repression and revival. (July 13, 1998)

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