Shi Yun-chao (1941-96) lived in Five Mile Village of Henan Province. In April 1983, Shi was summoned by the local Public Security Bureau to attend a study group held by the Religion Bureau. There the official from the bureau stressed repeatedly, "You are not allowed to have Christian gatherings. You are not allowed to read a Bible sent from overseas. You are not allowed to have private gatherings. Any activity in violation of any part of the above regulation is illegal and counter-revolutionary."
Shi said, "We did not shout in our gatherings. Why do you identify us as part of the 'Shouter Sect' (branded as cult in China)?" The official of the Religion Bureau replied, "You are Shouter Sect if you shout loud; you are also Shouter Sect if you lower your voice shouting. We think you are still Shouter Sect even if you mumble words in your mouth! The Shouter Sect is counterrevolutionary."
On April 25, 1983, officers from the Public Security Bureau declared that Shi was arrested on the charge of illegal counterrevolutionary gatherings.
A few months later, he was sent to a labor camp. He was released in April 1987 after he had served a three-year sentence. On July 10, 1989, Shi held a gathering at a nearby home in Northern Heights Village. As the group was having lunch, Yang Shou-shan, Lao Yue, and others from the Public Security Bureau broke in with handcuffs and batons.
Yang Shou-shan cursed, "Old diehard! It is you again!"
He handcuffed him, cursing, "You never repent, even when your death time comes!"
Then Shi Yun-chao was taken to the Qing Feng Jail. His howls and shrieks under torture rang out so far that those Christians locked in the jail could hear it clearly.
On July 10, 1993, he was released from prison. But he could no longer live a normal life as a healthy person.
His health failed to improve. He died on January 17, 1996.
—Wan Xi-ying (the victim's wife)
Copyright © 2002 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
Other personal stories from the archive of China persecution include:
China Persecution Dossier: Zhang Wu-JiTortured to the point of death.
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.
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."
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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