Liu Zhenying known as Brother Yu is an exiled Chinese Christian house church leader, who has written about his experiences in the Underground Chinese church in his autobiography, The Heavenly Man. In this book he writes about numerous incidents of supernatural deliverance's as well as the extreme persecutions inflicted on believers by the Chinese authorities. As China takes the spotlight for the upcoming Olympic games there are still many concerns about its record of human right infringements and no where is this more evident than among those Christians who form part of an unofficial network of independent church groups throughout that great nation.
Brother Yu was seen as a rebel among some Chinese for not joining the 'official' government-controlled Christian organization became a wanted man across several provinces and was finally arrested and sentenced to many years in prison. However, Yun continued his ministry while in prison, with more claims of miraculous results. As a result, many prisoners and even some prison officials reportedly became born-again Christians. Apparently, while he gained increasing favour from some officials, he also became a target of increased persecutions by others. He was repeatedly beaten and became severely malnourished. It is claimed that while in prison, Yun undertook a total fast without food or water for 74 day In his 23 years of ministering in China, Brother Yun was arrested and sent to prison three different times. He spent a total of seven years in prison for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
On the occasion of his first arrest, Brother Yun was ministering at a meeting away from home. He was caught by the Security Police and thrown into a freezing cold prison cell with 4 of his co-workers. There was no heat in the cell, and outside, the temperature was below freezing.
They had thrown Brother Yun’s coat in the snow. He began to beat on an old drum with his handcuffs and sing in a loud voice Psalm 150. He says, “The more I sang the more I was filled with joy. I stood up and praised the Lord. Gradually my frozen hands and feet regained feeling and I wasn’t cold any more.”
This was only the beginning of his prison saga. During the times when Brother Yun was in the hands of the government officials, he was repeatedly beaten and tortured with electric batons. He was kicked and trampled upon. He was tortured with needles being jabbed underneath his fingernails. He was mocked by the other prisoners. He was hung by his handcuffs and transported so roughly that the cold cuffs sliced through his wrists until they were all bloodied and the wrist bones exposed.
Of this time, Brother Yun says, “I had no Bible with me so I meditated on God’s Word from memory and prayed in tears for the churches. I shouted out Bible verses at the top of my voice, clinging to God’s promises such as Psalm 27:1-3. I sang loudly day and night.”
Through all of these horrendously painful experiences, the Word of the Lord kept coming to Brother Yun, encouraging him, and strengthening him in his faith, until he could face pretty much anything without fear.
After many years in prison, he escaped from Zhenghazou Maximum Security prison from which it is reported that nobody had previously escaped. He described how he heard the voice of the Holy Spirit, telling him to simply walk out the heavily guarded prison gate. Risking being shot to death on the spot, he wrote later that he obeyed the voice, and walked straight through several prison doors that were somehow left open in front of many prison guards, across the prison yard and finally out of the main gate. Yun stated that it was as if he had become invisible to the guards who stared straight through him. Although many expressed doubts that such a thing could happen, some prison guards had apparently lost their jobs for this 'embarrassing mishap.' It is reported that the official investigation by the Chinese government concluded that "Yun received no human help in his escape." It is claimed that these reports have been also confirmed by numerous prisoners who occupied the same prison cell as Yun. Apparently, he remains the only person to have escaped from this notorious maximum security prison
His ministry struggled briefly when Chinese Christians became increasingly fearful of housing him because of the potential repercussions from government authorities. After escaping from China Yun wasn’t through with prison life—yet. Several years after he escaped, he was in the country of Myanmar to escort his family to Germany. He got caught at the border with an illegal identification card and thrown into prison. He received a 7 year sentence, but the German Embassy was able to get him out after 7 months. During this time, Brother Yun busily engaged himself in winning the prisoners to Jesus, and training them. He says, “Through song I taught many Bible passages to my new brothers in Christ.”
His ministry since has expanded around the globe. As a leader of the "Back to Jerusalem Movement", Yun seeks to send thousands of missionaries out from China into the least-gospel-reached countries of the world, most existing between China and Israel. As the worlds attention is drawn to China during the Olympic Games we can be encouraged that despite the best efforts of the communist regime to wipe out the christian witness from their land, the church of Jesus Christ continues to grow.And men yielded to the Holy Spirit like Brother Yun are in the vanguard of leading their people to the fullness of freedom which is found in Christ alone.