House arrest with Chinese characteristics

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to visit someone under house arrest in China (who’s allowed visitors), here’s a translated first-hand account:

“I pressed 9 button for the 9th floor, someone immediately began to examine us with an investigative look. I avoided that suspicious eye-contact… As soon as I came out of the elevator, I was stunned as I was already facing a desk with an appointment book with visitors’ names and their IDs. Obviously, this place has been turned into a formal mini-office and I found this both funny and annoying. A policewoman stood at the side of desk and was ready for the confrontation. When she saw my eyesight turned right in search of Tianming’s door, she seemed to know that we were visitors instead of tenants on the 9th floor. So the questioning started…

“Tianming is receiving the highest standard of the house arrest as both the police and DSPS agents not only have the office desks, they also have foldable beds. It is said only security guards and doorkeepers are hired for regular members of the church and they have only camp chairs and recliners.
“For Tianming … seeing so many brothers and sisters of Shouwang Church … detained, interrogated, released each week and seeing so many people forced to move or fired from jobs, it is more miserable and harder to endure than if he experienced these himself. Now, …the sheep are being beaten but the shepherds cannot stand out to fend off the blows. It is hard to describe in words how heart-wrenching it is to see all this happening around him.”
[Link: Visit to Pastor Jin Tianming.]

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