Brother Yun's Prison Break
The idea of a unified house
church movement frightened the Chinese government, and an all-out effort to
arrest the house church leaders was launched. They did not understand that this
was not a political movement, but perhaps they did understand that no
government can long stand when the vast majority of its people are outside of
its mind-control. In March of 1997 a meeting was planned with eleven of the
house church leaders in
When Brother Yun and others arrived, they were met by police with guns. Brother Yun backed up toward a window, opened it quickly, and jumped from the second story. He injured his feet badly when he landed, and there were police waiting below the window. He was beaten and kicked, and the police stamped on his legs and chest with their boots. He was pistol-whipped and shocked with electric batons until he lost consciousness.
He awoke in a holding cell at police headquarters. All of the arrested house church leaders were tied together and beaten with sticks and batons, and they expected to be taken out and executed immediately. But they were instead brought to trial.
At Yun's court hearing the
judge asked him if he would try to escape if he had the opportunity to do so.
Yun truthfully acknowledged his call to preach the gospel to
"The judge, court officials, and guards were all furious at my answer. The judge snarled, 'How dare you, you delinquent! I'm going to break your legs permanently so you'll never escape again!'
I was taken to an interrogation room where several guards forced me to the floor and made me sit with my legs apart. I begged them not to beat my fractured legs, but one sinister-looking man hardened his heart and pulled out his baton. To ensure that I would never be able to escape, he struck my legs between my knees and feet repeatedly. He destroyed my legs until I could stand the pain no longer. . . . My legs below my knees turned completely black, and there was no feeling in them at all. My entire body ached and was bruised from head to toe." (The Heavenly Man, p. 244)
From then on the guards called him by two nicknames: crazy and cripple. He had no Bible, but he meditated on the word that he had already memorized and sang loudly day and night.
"Because I couldn't walk, three different Christian prisoners, including Brother Xu, were given the job of carrying me between my cell, the torture room, and the toilet. I was in a separate cell from the other leaders, so we eagerly longed for these brief moments of fellowship." (p. 246)
A prisoner-spy, who pretended to be a Christian, was put in the cell with Brother Xu. One day the spy became very sick. Brother Yun told the guard of his experience as a masseur and asked for five minutes with him.
"The guard had me carried into the cell. When I entered, Brother Xu looked at me with eyes of fire. He nodded his head and started to pray. I prayed for the sick man in the name of Jesus and laid my hands on his head. After a few moments he exclaimed, 'I feel a hot breeze inside me!'
"A few minutes later the guard returned. He asked, 'How is the massage going?'
"The sick man replied, 'It's going well. I've almost recovered.'
"The Lord totally healed that man. To show his gratitude, he used some of his money and influence to give me good food. After this incident even some of the prison guards asked me to massage their bodies when they were in pain, so they started to treat me better." (p. 247, 248)
Even so, this was the low point in Brother Yun's life. His legs were crushed, he was in constant pain, and in order to sleep at night, he had to prop up his legs against the wall until they became numb.
The situation was very
serious, because the order to arrest the house church leaders had come from the
central government in
On the morning of May 5, 1997, Brother Yun received a vision of his wife sitting beside him. "Have you been released?" he asked her. (She had also been imprisoned.) Her reply was, "Why don't you open the iron door?" The vision ended.
The Lord then spoke to Yun, "This is the hour of your salvation." Brother Yun called the guard to go to the toilet. The guard brought Brother Xu to carry him. As soon as Xu came, he whispered, "You must escape!"
"I prayed, 'Lord, you have shown me that I must try to leave this prison. I will obey you now and will try to escape. But when the guards shoot me, please receive my soul into your heavenly dwelling'." (p. 255)
"It was just before eight o'clock in the morning of 5 May 1997. To the natural mind, this time of day was the worst possible time to try to escape! There was normally so much activity throughout the prison, with all the guards at their posts.
"I shuffled out of my cell and walked towards the locked iron gate in the hallway. My mind was solely focused on obeying God. I looked straight ahead and prayed beneath my breath with every step I took.
"A guard who pushed a button when he wanted the gate to open and close sat at the top of the third-story stairwell. . . At the exact moment I reached the gate, another servant of the Lord, Brother Musheng, was returning to his cell and the gate was opened for him. That morning he had been ordered to sweep the prison courtyard. As Musheng passed me, I told him, 'Wait! Don't close the gate.' I walked through without even breaking my stride! The Lord's timing was perfect! . . .
"There had been a guard accompanying Musheng back to his cell, but at the exact moment he opened the gate for Musheng, a telephone rang in an office down the hallway, and the guard turned and ran to answer it.
"I noticed a broom leaning against the wall in the stairwell. I picked it up and continued walking with it down the stairs to the second floor. An armed guard was positioned at his desk facing the second iron gate. . . Somehow the Lord seemed to blind that guard. He was staring directly at me, yet his eyes didn't acknowledge my presence at all. . .
"I continued past him and didn't look back. . . I continued walking down the stairs, but nobody stopped me and none of the guards said a word to me!
"When I arrived at the main iron gate leading out to the courtyard, I discovered it was already open! This was strange, as it was usually the most secure gate of all. . . I discarded the broom I had carried with me from the third floor and walked out into the courtyard. . . I walked past several guards in the yard but nobody said a word to me. I then strolled through the main gate of the prison, which for some strange reason was also standing ajar! . . .
"Immediately a small yellow taxi-van pulled up next to me, and the driver--a man in his 20s--opened the passenger door. He asked, 'Where are you heading?'
I got in and replied,
'I need to go to my office as quickly as possible, so please drive fast.' I
gave the driver the address of a Christian family I knew in
Upon arriving at his destination, he discovered that the church had been praying and fasting for a week for his release and that the Lord had told them, "I will release Yun and the first place he will stop will be your home."
Only then did he realize that his legs had been completely healed and that he had walked out of the prison with no help from anyone.
Brother Yun Leaves
Brother Yun's bold escape
from the prison greatly embarrassed the Chinese authorities, and they launched
a huge manhunt to find him. From this point on, Yun's ministry in
The Lord soon spoke to Yun,
telling him, "Leave
The next day, a friend called to confirm this word, that God had prepared a new ministry for him in fulfillment of the word he had been given many years earlier as a young man, "Go west and south and preach the gospel."
But Yun had a problem with leaving the country, because he had no passport. Shortly afterward, another Christian brother who was a businessman felt prompted to give Yun his own passport.
"When we looked at the passport, we noticed another problem. The picture of this brother looked absolutely nothing like me! He was balding and wore glasses. I had shaggy hair and completely different features. This brother was also much older than me!
"Believing the Lord
had told me to preach his gospel among the nations of the world, a time was set
for me to leave
Early that morning, after many had spent the night in prayer for his protection, Yun received a word through Proverbs 10:19, "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." The Lord spoke to Yun, "When you enter the customs hall at the airport, say only what I instruct you to say."
"I waited in line for my documents to be checked. Finally, I reached the front of the line. I handed over the passport and boarding pass. The officer looked at the picture and then at me, and started to laugh. 'Ha! This photo isn't you! It looks nothing like you at all!" Then he held the passport up for the officers in the other booths to see. They too laughed contemptuously." (p. 270)
The line of passengers grew
longer behind Yun as the situation delayed the flow. "It's obvious this
passport doesn't belong to you. But even if I let you go, there's no way you
will get permission to enter
"Incredibly, he stamped my passport and said, 'Go!'
"There was no human reason for the officer to do this. All I can say is that the Lord was in control of the situation, influencing the officer to do His will." (p. 271)
"About ten hours later
my plane touched down in
"When I got to the front of the line, the German officer looked at my passport. Immediately he raised his eyebrows and a stern look came across his face. He spoke to me, but I couldn't understand, so I just stood there and smiled. He motioned for me to stand to the side.
"Three other officers came to inspect my passport. They knew it wasn't mine. They shook their heads and said in threatening voices, "No! No!"
At that moment a Scripture came into my mind, 'The righteous are as bold as a lion.' Proverbs 28:1. With the fire of God in my heart, I stared at the main officer with a look of judgment in my eyes. The officer looked at me, stamped my passport, handed it back, and motioned for me to go!
"It was only by the grace of God.
"I was in
Two years later, at a
"The Finnish brother
said, 'I work for a certain telecommuncations security company. Several years
ago we won the contract to install state-of-the-art voice recognition software
at various border points around
"Using hidden microphones, these programmes allow officials to quickly match the voice of suspicious passengers against a computerized database containing the voice patterns of wanted criminals. You can be certain your voice was in their database, because so many recordings have been made of you preaching.
"If you had opened
your mouth that day in
"I thanked the Lord for his wisdom and mercy, when he told me, 'When you enter the customs hall at the airport, say only what I instruct you to say.' He hadn't prompted me to say anything to the officials, so I didn't say a word.
"It always pays to obey the Lord!" (p. 275, 276)
Meanwhile, Brother Xu remained in prison for a few years after watching Yun escape through the front iron gate. Miraculously, after enduring much torture, his sentence was reduced from ten years to three, and he was released in May of 2000. Brother Yun called him on a co-worker's cell phone
"This is your old cell
mate, Brother Yun! I'm calling you from
"Brother Xu, with
overwhelming joy in his voice, shouted, 'Hallelujah! God has sent you out of
Perhaps he was a bit too
optimistic. In the year 2000 Yun began to experience persecution "Western
Style," this time not from the secular authorities, but from Christians.
(Welcome to Saul's Kingdom, brother David Yun!) A Christian journalist in
"He said my miraculous escape from prison in 1997 was a lie, that my claims of fasting 74 days without food or water in prison were fabricated, that my legs had never been smashed, and that I was not a representative or elder of the Sinim Fellowship." (p. 307)
"I couldn't understand how someone who had never met me could write such a nasty article. I complained to my Christian friends, 'Why don't these people call us and read the documents? Why don't they find the truth out for themselves? It's right here for them to see!
"My translator told
me, 'Brother Yun, these people don't want to know the truth. That's why they're
not calling you or wanting to meet you. In
So what's new, brother?
Carnality is carnality, whether in Chinese form or American. Not many of us in