China Aid Association
My name is Wang Lan, and I’m 28 years old. I live in Fengjie, Sichuan Province.
I came to the Lord in 1990, following my parents. They had come to the Lord, for someone evangelized to my mother when she went to a relative to have her illness treat. After she got back, she decided to believe in Jesus. One day, when my younger brother and I were finishing our homework, my parents got the meal ready and asked us to eat. We hadn’t done our homework yet. But she had us go eat supper anyway. She told us to make the sign of the cross with our eyes closed. We had no idea what it was all about. My sister held a piece of paper and read from it. It was the Lord’s Prayer, in fact. This is how we all came to the Lord.
In the summer of 1990, I went to junior high school. It was too hot to hold classes, so we had a few days off. We were told that school would be resumed after it rained. When I went home, I was told that people were registering for a “life meeting,” and we went. After listening to the sermons, we knew that we were all sinners in desperate need of the Lord. So we repented right there. After the meeting, I was sure that I was saved. On getting home, news came that the school would start soon. During the three years in junior high, I would go home each Saturday and return to school each Sunday afternoon. I hardly have anytime for worship gatherings. But I would pray with my parents each Saturday after I got home from school. After I graduated, I was called on mission. In 1993, I undertook the trainings of theology for three months. On December 8th, I was sent to the harvest field of souls in Chongqing. By 1996, there were a great many people that had come to the Lord. So we needed to hold up “life meetings” for them.
On May 19, 1996, we were hosting the meeting. However, the brother-in-law of the reception family took some policemen to the house. There were eight of them. The reception house had four doors, and by each of them stood two cops. They surrounded us. After they forced the doors open, they told us to stand on the roof, and tell them our names and home addresses. After that, we were put to another room. They questioned us again, and lined us up in a footpath outside. We were kept in a row, and told to number off. In the end we were tied in pairs, with the strings around the thumbs. Then we were taken to the government building of Puzi Township. We were locked in a room on the second floor. At first they ignored us, and then took photos of us. There were over forty of us there. We were put into several rows. They hung hardboards on the necks of my co-worker and I, which said, “illegal evangelizing.” After our photos were taken, they interrogated us. They told us to keep a half-way squatting position, and stretch our arms forward. If I budged, they would strike me in the arm. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t even keep still after acting like that for a while. Later on they made a phone call to Baitu Police Department, and cops from there arrived soon. Two cops came at us and had us handcuffed. Even if we moved just a little bit, the handcuffs would grow tighter. The two of them took me to a place some distance away. After we got there, they undid the handcuffs. At first they had me handcuffed again under a cupboard. The room under it was so limited that I had to lie on my stomach. After a while they undid the handcuffs again, and handcuffed me to the bed. It was made of wood, and held together with an iron frame. I could neither sit nor stand. I had to keep my back bent all the time. They two slept in their beds for the night. The second day, I was taken to the government of the township. It was noon time when we got there. They lined us up, and frisked us. They put us under the sun intentionally, which made all of us sweat all over. A man said, “The sun won’t burn you Christians.” They stayed in the shadowy place under the roof. Later we were taken to Baitu Police Department. We had been answering their questions when they first interrogated us. But we didn’t give them our real names or addresses. Later we told them the real ones, but they wouldn’t believe us. They were really hard on us. When I was being interrogated, they asked me about my home address, and that what I was out there for. I told them, but they wouldn’t believe what I had said. The Vice Superintendent of Baitu Police Department (named Yang or Zhang, I don’t quite remember.) Hit me in the hand with a big bamboo stick. He just aimed at the palms. We tolerated while he struck us hard. Later they had us put into “study groups.” They read and talked to us. I received special treatment there. They hung me on the iron gate of the police department. (Question: were you hung on your handcuffs?) I was hung up on my handcuffs, and the toes of my foot could barely touch the ground. To tell you the truth, I remembered our Lord when they put me there. He had been crucified for me, because of my sins. He had been insulted like that. Usually I cared a lot about my reputation, but thinking about the Lord and what He had gone through, all the fear was gone. Later it rained, and they put me down. Then they threw me to another room and had me handcuffed. Several of us were locked up together in one room. They were really mean on me, and handcuffed me to the door. My hands had already been black and blue after the beatings. Then I was handcuffed to the door. After that night, I saw that my hands were terribly swollen. After that, (Note: all the members of the church were charged some money before they were released. The lowest amount was 200 RMB, and the highest 1200 RMB.) My co-worker and I were taken to a city called Wanzhou. It used to be called Wanxian City, and now they had changed the name to Wanzhou. We were still young; all we had done was to evangelize and ask other people to do good deeds. So we were released.
In 1997, the church had this special favor for us, and I was asked to teach theology. Later I was sent on mission to Lichuan to develop another harvest field for the souls. In 1998, I taught theology one more time under the request of the church. Then I was sent on mission to Chongqing to develop another harvest field for the souls. In July 1999, I started my work in Shipai, Zhouxiang City, Hubei Province. The fellow believers in Shipai really loved the Lord. On May 27th, 2001, some brothers and sisters were arrested and put to jail. On August 13th, a brother and I went to make a telephone call, in Hongling Village of Shipai. I saw a man standing by a motorcycle, and wondered if he was a policeman. But I didn’t put it in my mind anyway. So we just went to make the phone call. We put our bikes close by, and were about to leave, riding the bikes. I had covered a distance while that brother was still way behind. I had some suspicion on that man standing there, but turned back anyway to check out what had happened. That brother said, “A wheel got stuck on a string.” It was the cops that had done it. They had been there for days. We had seen them on the previous day when we made the phone call, but we had no idea who they were. But they had taken heed on us, and had the phone bugged. Later we fixed the bike, and continued on our way. Then the motorcycle came up, and the rider told us to hold. We didn’t realize he was addressing us. The brother stopped. I got no brake on my bike, so I managed to stop after a while. That man said something to that brother before coming at me. The first thing he said to me was, “Get going! Turn back!” I said, “What for?” He said something had happened to them. I said, “What does that suppose to mean?” He said, “Someone’s belongings are missing.” I said, “Do I look like the thief to you?” He said, “Aiya, I don’t mean that. We’ll just ask you a couple of questions for us to investigate. You’ll be fine.” So we went with him. Then a black car came up and stopped where we were. Several men came up, and told the brother and me to get into the car. We were taken to Shipai Police Department. I sat there and felt my heartbeat quickened. They saw me like that, and said I was pretending to be nuts. Later they came to frisk me. I got nothing but some toilet paper on me. I had taken off my watch and the belt. So I just said there and asked, “Can’t I just keep some toilet paper for myself?” He said, “No!” After I had sat there for a while, a man came and asked me what my name was and where I was from. At first I just ignored them. I said to myself that they didn’t look like they were dealing with a stealing case. I found out from their words that they had known we were Christians already. I said nothing when they asked me those questions. Later he asked, “Who was the girl with you the day before? What’s her name? Where did she go?” I said, “I don’t know.” He asked, “Didn’t she tell you anything before she left?” I said, “No. I just know what I’m supposed to know.” A man came at me and clapped me right across the face. I lowered my head after the slap. He grabbed my hair, and knocked my head against the arm of the couch. It was very hard, and I was feeling sick after that. Seeing that I still kept silent, he grabbed my hair and dragged me back and forth. My scalp hurt really badly. Then they said, “Are you talking or not? If not, we’ll fix you the hard way.” They fetched an electric club. They put it against the door, and sparkles came out. They thought that it was still undercharged, so they recharged it. Then they struck me with it. I had been handcuffed, so there was nothing I could do. Before they handcuffed me, I could still fend it off with my hands. Once I grabbed the electric club and didn’t let it go. He said, “Get her! Get her!” My hands felt numb from touching the electric club. I was wearing a blouse, and they put the electric club on my back, breasts, neck, and face. Seeing that the electric club was not hot enough, they carried a bucket of water to the room, told me to kneel, and pushed my head into the water. I was held up, so I didn’t move. After a minute, I couldn’t take it anymore and tried all that I could to turn the bucket down. After I managed to do that, the water all came out and got me all wet. The ground was wet as well. Then they carried another bucket of water, but I turned the bucket down again. Then it was the third time. They dropped the idea of drowning me, and kicked me to the ground instead. Whatever they did, I just kept silent. I could hear the brothers and sisters who had been arrested say that it was horrible to be put under electric clubs. I said, “Lord, I guess you got me stricken with an electric club, for I was afraid of it? Is this the way you are testing me, Lord? If it is, I’m willing to bear all this. Just add strength to me.” Later they fetched a piece of string. They handcuffed me from behind as if I was a convict. A man grabbed my hair and pushed me to the ground. Another man stepped on my ribs. I felt sharp pain as if the ribs were going to break. They still kept striking me with the electric club. I couldn’t move my hands, but my legs hadn’t been bound. I could kick them. Seeing that this didn’t work out either, they told me to kneel down. Then they told me to get up again with my hands were still handcuffed at my back. They were determined to let me suffer. They pulled my arms up with all the strength they had. The joints all gave off snapping sounds. It hurt so much that I was in tears. But I never cried out. I didn’t even make a sound. After a night’s torture, I grew very weak. Then I was handcuffed to a window, which was high above. I had to stand on the tip of my feet. If I stood in the normal way, my arm would hurt. When morning came, I had lost all my strength. When it was light enough to see, I saw that wisps of my hair covered the ground. They had caught another over ten church members that night from a worship gathering. I could hear the fellow believers speaking and the cops cursing loudly in another room. In the morning of the 14th, we were also escorted to a Zhongxiang. We were tied up and taken away. At that time, the other brothers and sisters were standing out there. I felt very sad seeing them. There was one brother whose eye corner got pierced, and blood ran down his face. They tied him up and handcuffed him before taking him away. A cop said about me, “This young un is very sly. I’ll see to it that she gets fixed.” We were taken to Zhongxiang (the detainment center of Zhongxiang Police Department). On arriving there, we were frisked. Then we were sent into the cells. Interrogations began the next day. Now I had an idea what those “executors of the law” were actually doing. There was a very young sister, about 12 years old, who was called out for interrogation and hadn’t returned when it was 9 p.m. already. We were really worried about her. So we knocked on the door and asked the guards what had happened. They just said that she was coming back soon; no big deal. The sisters back from interrogations were all lying there exhausted. I thought that they must have been tortured cruelly. Some of them unbuttoned their blouses, and we saw that their breasts were covered with blisters, and feet too. Li Li told us what had happened to her. When they interrogated her, they asked, “Li Li, how many times have you been in bed with your teacher?” Li Li said, “We can go check it out in the hospital.” Those people just dropped the question. She said that those people thrust an electric club onto her breast through her collar. She pulled the collar up. Those people said, “Li Li, you are such a fake!” She said she was a human being endowed with human rights. They said, “human rights? Are you a human being at all? We wouldn’t think so!” They used this method on each brother and sister during the interrogations. They wanted the sisters to give a false witness against our teacher. There was a sister called Tong Cuijuan. They unbuttoned her blouse, and then stripped her clothes off. Then they beat her and used electric clubs on her. She was beaten so badly that she rolled on the ground, and got dirty all over. After the interrogation, they wiped the dirt off her, and told her to wash her clothes. She wasn’t sent back till the clothes were dry and that she put them on. Each brother or sister received such treatment. After they got back, they were covered with wounds. On the 20th, it was my turn to be interrogated. I was the last one. I had been beaten so cruelly in Shipai that I lost all appetite. Besides, I saw how the brothers ands sisters had been tortured and insulted, and felt very sad. I was called out noon time. The interrogation room was somewhat far away; I barely had the strength to get there. In the room were a table, two beds, and a quilt on the bed. I went in and saw a pair of handcuffs. I knew instantly that the brothers and sisters had been beaten so badly, because they had been handcuffed and couldn’t move. So I went forward and sat in bed. The interrogator asked me my name and where I was from. I was in ill health, and was exposed to the sun. So my heartbeat sped up, rendering me very sick. I said wait a minute. But he still kept asking me. Seeing that I was barely conscious, a man sitting next to me was about to give me a blow. But the interrogator stopped him, seeing that I was really very sick. Later they said that I was about to pass out, with a sickly hue on my face and a lot of sweat. Soon I passed out. Later I grew better, and my mind was clearer. They said, “Get up for the interrogation!” I managed to sit up. But instantly I felt horrible and my heartbeat quickened again. I wanted to throw up. I grew faint and collapsed again. He told me to stand up. But I couldn’t. I was sweaty all over and my face was very pale. They went out, and said that I was really sick. In the beginning they had thought I was pretending, but later they said that my face was so pale; that wasn’t something fake. So they made a phone call. They had beaten a person to death. So they were afraid I might die too. A nurse came and gave me an IV. They never interrogated me ever since, for they knew I was sick. I had been having IVs till the 21st, when I was taken out.
(Cui Guilian: I’m Cui Guilian. I went with her to a hospital of gynecology and obstetrics. At night, the superintendent of Shayang Police Department said to me, “Cui Guilian, you’ve been through all this. You are older too. Tonight you shall take care of Wang Lan. Touch her nose once in a while, to see if she’s still breathing. Tell me instantly if she isn’t. Watch over her and comfort her with encouraging words for the night.”)
When I was taken out on the 21st, they brought me to a legal hospital, and asked Sister Cui Guilian to take care of me. I was in a trance and feeble. They suspected that I might have slept with the teacher. So a man named Zhang Liqing was sent for, for he had a car. (Question: Where is he from?) He is the superintendent of Lengshui Police Department. There were two other guys: Zhang Banghong, the superintendent of Yingzhong Police Department, and Bai Tianxiong, the superintendent of Shayang Police Department. They sent for them three to take me in the car to have an IV everyday. Sister Cui Guilian was asked to take care of me in the hospital. I had been in a trance; I just had a vague idea what had happened. I didn’t have any clue what the doctor and other people had said. One day Zhang Banghong asked Cui Guilian to leave the room. Then he approached me and asked me in a whisper, “Are your periods still normal?” I turned over and ignored him.
(Cui Guilian: Wang Lan ignored him. He insisted to the doctor that she was pregnant, “she hadn’t ben eating for days.” I said, “That’s not because she’s pregnant! She had been beaten too hard at the police department.”) She couldn’t eat for she felt dizzy. She couldn’t open her mouth, for the lips were covered with blisters. Her hands were in the same condition. She wept for several days, lying there. She ate nothing. The doctor said, “How do you know?” I said, “We had been arrested by those people. She said nothing but wept. But the wounds are simply there. We could see them.” In the end the doctor told Zhang Banghong to get her urine for an examination in the department of gynecology. After the IV, I carried her out. At night I got her urine. Then he told me to take her to the bathroom to get the urine the next day. When I carried her there, Zhang Liqing said, “Cui Guilian, I dare you to run with her!” I said, “I’m illiterate.” He said, “We wouldn’t be worried even if you run away. We can get you wherever you go.” They knew I was illiterate and had no idea what buses to take. I took samples of her urine, and delivered them to the doctor. Later the doctor told Zhang Liqing the result, “she is not pregnant.” Zhang Banghong said, “What is the result? Is she pregnant?” Zhang Liqing said, “No.” They all thought that if Sister Wang Lan was pregnant, they would say it was the teacher’s baby, and put him to death on that basis. Then they would use all the methods they could. Then they caressed Wang Lan’s body and flirted to her. I was married, so they separated me from her. One night, Wang Lan and I were sitting together. Zhang Banghong said, “Cui Guilian, give Wang Lan a massage.” I said, “I don’t know how.” Then he told me to sit at Wang Lan’s feet. When I did, he said that I was in the way, and told me to sleep in his bed, and that he would give her a massage. I knew they were going to do something to her. It was about 1 a.m., and the three of them still played cards in the corridor, and their talking and laughing made us unable to sleep. Before morning they asked again to give her a massage. We were very sleepy by then. I said, “I don’t know how to do that.” Wang Lan turned in her bed. He asked me to go to his bed, but I wouldn’t. He was angry, and drove me there. I was angry too. So I jumped onto his bed. He threw a newspaper at me, which landed on my eyes. He gave Wang Lan a massage and forbade me to look. I turned and took the paper away. He said, “Cui Guilian, close your eyes and sleep. Just relax. I’m just giving her a massage.” I was still worried. He threw her coat at me, and had my eyes covered again. He was planning on raping Wang Lan, so that they could say the teacher did it. But I just kept awake. I peeped through the coat. Seeing that he couldn’t do it, he left, saying, “Cui Guilian, you take care of Wang Lan”. He looked very dissatisfied.
They had beaten me too hard in Shipai. If they beat me again, I would surely die. In Zhongxiang, they were trying to find “evidence” on me or other sisters to prove the teacher had been raping people, in order to put him to death. That was why they had me checked at the hospital. I had thought that they were simply treating my illness. As it turned out, I was not pregnant. They were very disappointed that this plan failed. They would buy things on the way to the hospital.
(Cui Guilian: They bought grapes. They hinted that Wang Lan was pregnant, for they “specially” bought those for her. They would lift them high up and give one to her, saying, “Wang Lan, isn’t it sour and tasty?” They also bought salted eggs. They trumpeted that those were very good for her health. But we all knew that they meant good for pregnant women. They said that I didn’t do a good job taking care of her, and said that they would take over. I was so worried that they might do her harm. They wouldn’t let me near Wang Lan, and cursed me at times. They blabbed everyday, saying that our teacher was a living god, and Wang Lan a big god, who they had to serve. They also called her a hooker, saying that she got ruddy cheeks, round eyes, and red lips. They said that it was a pity she didn’t have big breasts, unlike other girls. They said they would send her out to be a hooker, that her sister Cui could secure her a job, and that she could find a boyfriend and so on. They flirted all the time. We were very angry. He said that he would adopt Wang Lan and me. I was mad at heir calling us hookers. They said that they were with us all the time, and didn’t get to go out have fun. I blew up on them, “You took her here. If you hadn’t beaten her so badly, we wouldn’t even be in the hospital.” He threw dirty words on me, saying I was a bitch that didn’t know what was good for me. He told me to get Wang Lan’s words that some people had been in bed together with the teacher. But I wouldn’t. Then they called me an ungrateful bitch, and threatened to lock me in a cell. I said, “It was you who asked me to come here.” I accompanied Wang Lan for the last IV. They drove me back, and got another person for Wang Lan.)
When Sister Cui Guilian was with me, they couldn’t do anything to me. I was relieved, but they were mad. They cursed Cui Guilian and put her back in the cell. The second day, a sister called Liu Zhongju came to take care of me. She was a careless person. One night, Zhang Banghong sat up from his bed. We had all fallen asleep. Liu Zhongju slept by my feet. Zhang Banghong jumped into our bed. He talked with her. I said, “What are you here for?” He just ignored me. I was so mad that I put on my shoes and went out. Seeing this, he went out too. I went back again, and got into bed. Many times I was sick, and he said he would give me a massage. Once I had fallen asleep when he put a stool by my bed, and touched me. I pushed him back. He tried all that he could to get near me. He would buy me things and take me out in his car. One day I told him that I wanted to go to the cells to see the brothers and sisters. So we went, just to be taken out soon. Then he took me to a place, but I had no idea where it was. Liu Zhongju and I were brought there at night. I refused to get off the car, but they forced me to. After a while we retuned. There was another time when it was dark already. They said we were to go have fun. I refused. They had been talking about going out while Sister Cui Guilian was still there. They dragged me into the car and drove me to Huangcheng. They forced me off the car at the opposite side of the road. A person who took photos for people came, and wanted to take a photo of me. I said no. He said I could have one taken with Liu Zhongju. I said, “Do it to yourself.” They took it for “to myself,” and said, “Fine, you go ahead.” I squatted and refused. Bai Tianxiong pulled me up. I turned away, but the picture was taken anyway. Zhang Banghong took a picture of the Buddha from that woman (the one who took photos), and said, “Wang Lan, take it. It can keep you safe.” Another person said, “She won’t take it. She’s a Christian.” He handed it to me, and I threw it away. Then we got into the car, and went back. I went to bed straight away, while Zhang Banghong went to the dinning hall. After he got back, he poured curses on me. I knew they didn’t get what they wanted from me. I just ignored him. Then he was afraid that I might commit suicide, and came to coax me. I still turned a blind eye to him. He got ma a pillow, but I threw it away. He handed it to me again, and I threw it away again. He was mad at me, but I just ignored him. Sometimes they spoke to me in a flirting way. Once Zhang Banghong said, “Wang Lan, you are a stone-hearted girl indeed. We are suffering so because of you. We are talking care of you and are not able to go anywhere. It’s been such a long time that we hadn’t gone to the hookers or the dancing hall.” Zhang Liqing said right after him, “Don’t worry. She won’t turn naughty on you. You’ve been taking such good care of her.” They said this kind of thing even on the way to the hospital. Liu Zhongju and several others were walking behind, and Zhang Banghong came up and pointed at an unbeliever, saying, “See? She’s got huge breasts! You Christian girls don’t have ones like at.” I stared at him and said nothing. On the last day, they did all they could to get me obey them. The buttons on my shoes fell off when they were beating me in Shipai. Liu Congzheng said my shoes and Liu Zhongju’s shoes were broken and that they would buy shoes for us. In the evening he appeared with two pairs of shoes. They bought us food and other things, took photos for us and so on just to make us follow them. If I listened to them and gave false testimonies, they would put my teacher to death. On the last day, Zhang Liqing and the others still took care of me, but I still had the same attitude. Whatever he said, I thought to myself, I knew for sure my teacher was a good man. I knew what my teacher was doing. I would never frame him up. Later Bai Tianxiong told me to get a pen and write on a notebook. I had been feeling dizzy, so I refused. He told me to get a stool, sit there and write. My head grew heavy. I leaned on the table, and wouldn’t write. Bai Tianxiong said that if I didn’t do as he told to, he would forbid me to take a nap. I just sat there. After a while, I felt that I was about to pass out. Liu Zhongju was there putting back her cltoehs. I said, “I’ll faint! Help me!” Before she could turn around to see what was going on, I passed out. She carried me to the bed, and went out to call them back. They came after a while, seeing that I was in bed. Bai Tianxiong said, “She isn’t sick! She is pretending to pass out, so that she wouldn’t have to write anything!” He cursed me and said, “Damn her! She has to write!” Dissatisfied, they turned hard on me, saying that I was an ungrateful dog. They said that since I was sick, they would just go ahead and beat me to death, and throw me into a ditch. They had beaten someone to death, they said, and they got away with it. Mad words they threw at me. Later the time for my detainment was up, and they released me on August 29th. Though I had suffered for over ten days, what I went through was still the easiest to bear, compared to the brothers and sisters who had been beaten into a very bad shape, and those that are still in jail.
Orally presented by Wang Lan
April 11, 2004
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]