My name is Gu Xiangmei. I am a 32-year-old female. My home is at No. 18 of Hangyu Dongzhen in Xinye County, Nangyann, Henan. I was sentenced to two years in prison because I believe in God.

At about ten o'clock in the evening on March 22, 2001, I was getting ready to go to bed. Suddenly Li Bin, assistant director of Xinye police station, climbed over the wall surrounding my house and broke in.

Li Bin forced me to give him the key to my father-in-law's house. Li opened the door and searched that house also. The police did not find anything except a set of cassettes of praising songs and a hardcover, God, You're Great, in the back room.

In the end, Li Bin got me into their car and took me to the Hang Yun police station, Xinye County. During my jail time in Xinhang police station, Li Bin interrogated me five times. He used electric shock on me, and pinched my fingers and back with pliers. I lost consciousness several times because of the pain. Li Bin tried to force me to admit that I worshiped God. I kept silent all the time so they couldn't get anything from me. Then Li Bin sent me to Xinye County detention house.

In the detention house, I am exhausted every day, and I don't get enough to eat. In the morning we are given a small bowl of thin noodles and hard, steamed bread, and in the evening we only get a bowl of thin noodles, which we call "tiger's diarrhea."

On April 19, Xinye County police sentenced me to be in prison for two years for associating with cults and breaking the laws. Li Bin and Liyanpu handcuffed me and took me to Shibali Women's Labor-Education Center of Zhangzhou, where I have been ever since.

Related Elsewhere

Other personal stories from the archive of China persecution include:

China Persecution Dossier: Zhang Wu-JiTortured to the point of death.
China Persecution Dossier: Shi Yun-ChaoBeaten for Hosting Bible Studies.

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.

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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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