Tortured House Church Leader Speaks at National Press Club

February 15, 2005

The China Aid Association reports that on February 10, 2005, Chinese religious activist Liu Xianzhi recounted her experiences with imprisonment and torture in China to an audience at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Liu was a lay leader in the South China Church, a large unregistered Protestant "house church." She was arrested several times during the past 15 years, and served over six years in jail and prison camps. In January 2005, she left China. In her remarks, Ms. Liu said that she was tortured each time she was detained. In addition, during her 2001 detention, she was beaten and subjected to electroshock and sexual abuse. She described how, unable to force her to confess to having had sexual relations with South China Church Pastor Gong Shengliang, her torturers manipulated a recording in which she argued with them to make it sound as if she had confessed to this allegation. (Pastor Gong is currently serving a life sentence in prison based on multiple "confessions" by members of the South China Church, but a number of the "confessions" have since been retracted by witnesses claiming to have been tortured.)