Yang Shifang, female, born in 1958, a resident in Lan’gan town in Huaibin county under the jurisdiction of Xinyang City in the central province of Henan, joined The Church of Almighty God in 1999. She was arrested by the CCP and pursued and harassed over 16 years merely for her belief, during which she suffered hypertension from prolonged mental pressure. Because she did not dare to see the doctor for fear of being rearrested by the CCP, her condition increasingly worsened, and had a sudden cerebral hemorrhage on February 9, 2020. After all rescue methods failed, she died at the age of 62.
According to Yang Shifang’s account before her death, she was arrested by the local police on the afternoon of January 1, 2004 merely for her belief in Almighty God. During the interrogation, to extort information about the Church, two police officers beat and kicked her until she fainted. They continued to torment her for four hours after she came to. Later, they sent her to a detention house, and incited other female inmates to beat and insult her. Their torment made her miserable. During her detention, the police interrogated her for 13 times, and each time they forced her to give up information on the Church, and beat her when she told nothing. Their interrogations always proved fruitless.
On March 19, 2004, the police ordered Yang’s family to pay a fine of 500 RMB (about $ 70) before releasing her. They also asked her husband to sign a statement promising to confine her to the city within two years and keep her on call. They also threatened to rearrest and sentence her if she kept her belief.
After Yang returned home, the police constantly visited and harassed her. To evade rearrest by the police, she had to flee home. Her husband had no choice but to do arduous farm work by himself and managed prolonged harassment from the police. He was also worried about her safety day and night. As a result, he suffered liver cancer from depression. This news tore Yang’s heart out, but she did not dare to return home to take care of her husband because of the CCP’s persecution. Four months later, her husband died from his illness.
On July 21, 2019, five police officers went to Yang’s second oldest daughter’s home, saying that Yang had a police record after being arrested for her belief. They asked her daughter to be present at the local police station. The police constantly phoned Yang’s daughter to summon Yang to the police station. The news struck fear into Yang, frightening being rearrested and tortured. Her heart beat faster, her body became weak, and her blood pressure rapidly increased to 180 mmHg.
On July 22, Yang’s daughter took her to the hospital as her condition worsened. To evade rearrest, she had to return to her rented residence after being hospitalized for only five days.
Later, the police constantly visited the house of Yang’s daughter and questioned about Yang, and they also made some inquiries about Yang’s whereabouts. The CCP police’s constant pursuit and harassment put Yang in fear and mental stress every day, which increasingly worsened her condition. In mid-December, she felt dizzy, and had swollen eyes, with small pustules on her upper and lower eyelids. Her condition lasted nearly 20 days, but she did not dare to see the doctor.
On February 9, 2020, Yang’s condition suddenly deteriorated into cerebral hemorrhage, and she died on February 19 after rescue failed in ten days.
Yang’s death struck a heavy blow on her family. They said sadly, “Yang did nothing illegal but merely believed in God. If it had been not for the government’s persecution, she would not have been unable to return home or see the doctor. It’s the Communist Party that has ruined our family.”