Serving Persecuted Christians Worldwide - How Bolin used a Chinese police interrogation to share the gospel - Open Doors UK & Ireland
01 March 2024

How Bolin used a Chinese police interrogation to share the gospel

In China, Bolin was arrested for having Christian materials in his home. He took it as an opportunity to share the gospel.

In China, Christians like Bolin face opposition from the authorities for running 'unregistered' house churches (illustrative image)

When Bolin* heard the doorbell ring, he was in the middle of leading training online for Christians. In China, this is a risky decision. He was about to learn exactly how risky.

At the door were six police officers. They had a search warrant, allowing them to look through Bolin’s home for anything forbidden. He knew they’d find it: their home had lots of Christian books and other materials. “Stay where you are!” said one of the policemen. Bolin and his wife did as they were ordered.

“I was a bit nervous since they asked us not to move. They took my phone away. But we still tried to show them that we were cooperative proactively,” recalls Bolin. The police offers gathered up all the Christian materials they could find, handcuffed Bolin and took him to the police station for interrogation. They let his wife stay behind, and she anxiously waited for their children to come home from school.

A history of persecution

Bolin’s family is not new to facing persecution. Many years ago, his father and sister had been asked to leave the Communist Party because of their faith – after the whole family heard about Jesus from missionaries, and chose to follow Him.  The family were holding a house church meeting which was raided, leading to them being interrogated for 24 hours and badly beaten.

Despite this, Bolin and his family continued courageously serving the Lord, including opening their home for other believers to meet and later leading a church for believers from the local ethnic minority in a Buddhist-majority region. That’s why he had so many illegal materials in his home.

Sharing the gospel in the interrogation room

Having been taken to the police station, Bolin made another courageous decision. He decided to use the interrogation time to share the gospel.

"I told myself to turn it into an evangelism opportunity." Bolin

“Inside the interrogation room were two prosecutors: one asked question, and another took notes on a paper. There was also a recorder laid on the desk,” says Bolin. “I told myself to face the interrogation with a gentle and reverent heart and turn it into an evangelism opportunity.”

Bolin realised that people didn’t often pay attention when he tried to share the gospel – but, during an interrogation, they were listening carefully to everything he said. “They asked for every single detail based on my sharing – from day zero to the present.

“I’d often imagined that I might be in this situation with the police – but I never thought I’d be able to face it,” Bolin adds. “I am thankful for the courage given by God. When the interrogation came, I experienced that His grace was more than enough for me.”

Miraculous freedom

The whole investigation lasted for three months. Bolin was told that he wouldn’t be prosecuted if they could determine that his belief was genuine. Many Christians in China aren’t so fortunate, where any church activity outside of the rigorously monitored state-approved church is illegal and often leads to severe penalties.

"I must share the gospel because this is God’s mission for us." Bolin

Bolin was prepared to leave his hometown and assumed he’d be ordered to leave the area. But God had a surprise in store for this faithful believer. “Not only was I able to stay in this area, but they also returned everything that was confiscated, including two boxes of gospel flyers and more than hundreds of CDs containing Christian contents at the end,” he says. “I have never ever heard of similar things happening before.”

He adds: “To me, this was a miracle. I also told them my determination and stance - I am a Christian. I must share the gospel because this is God’s mission for us. If one forbids me to preach here, I will go elsewhere. If they don’t allow me to share the gospel in the daytime, I will do it at nighttime. If they don’t let me gather in the daytime, I will do it at nighttime. I am willing to pay the price. Moreover, I have not done anything that endangers our society.”

Vital training from Open Doors partners

Bolin shared his testimony with Jiayi*, a local Open Doors partner, at recent persecution survival training in the region led thanks to the gifts and prayers of Open Doors supporters.

Jiayi shares, “Believers living in ethnic minority areas usually lack spiritual resources and supports than other mainstream areas. We hope through training like this, believers like Bolin can be strengthened and nurtured to stand strong in difficulties, and they can also help strengthen other believers as well. In this training, we had 43 participants together learning about persecution, its sources and its types.”

Yingfei*, another Open Doors partner who is further contextualising the discipleship materials for local believers in China, adds: “Please join us in prayers that God can use these materials to bless our brothers and sisters who are in need of spiritual nourishment in difficult times.”

*Names changed for security reasons

Please pray
  • Praise God for the miraculous protection for Bolin and unexpected, positive ending in the incident
  • For Bolin’s church to receive protection and a deeper relationship with God so they will never be shaken
  • For God to keep His hands over training led by Open Doors partners and that the materials can be adapted suitably for our brothers and sisters in China.
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