China Aid Association
Photo: Xu Shuangfu
Xu Shuangfu (60) founded the Three Grades of Servants church group, which has more than 500,000 members throughout China. Over the years, the Chinese government has vigorously persecuted this church, imprisoning hundreds of members and killing at least 15. Xu Shuangfu served more than a decade in labor camps and prisons since 1976, primarily for “illegal evangelizing activities.”
In April 2004, Xu was kidnapped, along with 90 other leaders of the group. Xu was accused of ordering 16 church leaders to murder 20 leaders of the Eastern Lightning Group in 2002. He also was accused of defrauding his congregation of more than 30 million Yuan (US$4 million).
The Eastern Lightning cult was founded by a woman named Zheng, who claims to be China’s female reincarnation of Jesus Christ. The group has been accused of using kidnappings, violence and seduction to steal members.
When Xu’s confession was read during his trial, he recanted, testifying that it was extracted by torture.
“Eastern Lightning is a mafia group with Christian uniforms,”� said Christian Aid president, Bob Fu.
During interrogation, the arrested church leaders maintained their innocence and were tortured extensively, resulting in the death by torture of Gu Xianggao.
Finally, however, Xu and others were forced to sign confessions. When Xu’s confession was read during his trial, he recanted, testifying that it was extracted by torture.
Along with sleep deprivation and severe beatings with iron links and clubs, a mixture of hot pepper, gasoline and ginger juice was poured into his nostrils. He was hanged from the ceiling, first with his bound wrists above his head and then with his arms stretched and forced between his legs, front to back. His fingers, toes and genitals were shocked and burned with electric batons. And he was forced to wear a “noise helmet”� which emits a range of loud, excruciating sounds.
Despite the illegality of the torture and the lack of any evidence against the accused other than forced confessions, Xu Shuangfu, Li Maoxing (55) and Wang Jun (36) were found guilty and condemned to death. Ms. Zhang Min (35), Ms. Zhu Lixin (27) and Ben Zhonghai received two-year suspended death sentences. The remaining 11 received prison sentences ranging from 3 to 15 years.
The three church leaders were secretly executed the last week of November 2006. Lawyers and relatives were not informed of the executions until after the bodies had been cremated. Bob Fu believes the bodies were destroyed by the government to dispose of physical evidence of torture.
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
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