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Life Story and Faith Journey of Zhao Weishan
送交者: 白衣子 2018年08月25日20:37:29 于 [美国移民] 发送悄悄话

Unfolding the Church of Almighty God Cult——Life Story and Faith Journey of Zhao Weishan

In the end of 2012, when the group members took to street, declaring the doomsday apocalypse prediction, Zhao Weishan still remained unknown to the public, even to many of its adherents. After the Zhaoyuan McDonald's Cult Murder happened on May 28, 2014 , the incident was widely reported by the media and drew great attention of the whole community. The cults leader Zhao Weishan became the focus and thus came into the eyes of the public. However, about whom he is and what he has done, little is known by the public. People get information mainly from the Internet or from limited information released by the government. If compare these materials, one will find much obsolete, false and contradictory information. The video The First Half Life of the Pretender God shoot by Kaiwind Web, provides detailed and objective information about the Church of the Almighty God. They have interviewed some relevant people and obtained the first hand materials, which are relatively accurate. And in later time, the author has been to Heilongjiang Province and Henan Province for the field study. We sort out our findings in the following parts, in order to present detailed information concerning Zhao Weishans life in China and the Church of Almighty God.Zhao WeishanChildhood





Zhao Weishan, formerly called Zhao Kun, was born on December 12, 1951, the son of Zhao Guangfa, a railway worker who also was a Communist. His mother Li Guirong was a worker of railway loading and unloading team. His birthplace Yagou Town, being famous for Northeast Sticky Bean Buns, was a quite small town located at the southeast Acheng District of Harbin, with only about ten minutes' walk around the town (many materials shows his birthplace is Yongyuan Town, 40 miles far away from Yagou Town. Indeed it is the place where he preached.) The most prominent building here was Yagou railway station. Near the station, there was a residential area of old bungalow for the railway workers. Several families lived together in a court, with messy wood fencing around. The houses were only about thirty to forty meters square. 
Zhao Weishan's family birthplace of Zhao Weishanlived in the first house of the east courtyard. The family had two boys and eight girls, and he was the third one. As the eldest son in the family, sometimes he would help to do some housework. His brother Zhao Yu, one year younger than him, tells us the stories of their early days' life: They were so poor that had nothing to eat at that time, and had to dig wild plants along the railway for eating. Their dad was fierce, and mother was poor in healthy, treating Zhai Weishan badly. Being brought up in such a family, he did not like to play with others, and was some kind of selfish, disregarding of other people. Ai Fukun is a railway staff of Yagou station who have lived there since he was young. He is four years younger than Zhao Weishan, still calls him Zhao Kun. In his memory, Zhao Weishan's family lived in poverty all the time, They often ran out of food. “He did not like to play with other children. You couldn’t find him among the children. Their house abutted against other houses, and woods were clamped together to separate the yards. Several families shared one public toilet. He always played tricks on neighborhood kids outside the toilet, leaving bad impressions on their parents.





the primary school he once attendedStudyingZhao Weishan went to the Primary School of Yagou Station, in Mr. Ma Yanchi's class. He wrote a good handwriting and loved sports but not ranked tops. In 1966, when the Cultural Revolution began, he was 15 and studied in the Yagou middle school. Li Juncheng, one of Zhao's classmates at that time, he said that Zhao Kun became a red guard to fight with rebels and royalistsOne time he and several members of the rebel group went to Mr. Ma Wenyan's class, tied his hands behind the back and crowned him a tall paper hat, forcing him to stand in front of the room. Then they made the teacher confess in a 90 degree bow. The teacher nearly died of a heart attack at that time. And the teacher Hu Yasen reviewed Zhao Kun as a boy being poor in academic performance, naughty and mean-spirited. Some reports misinformed that he was a physics teacher with a college degree, while he was a railway worker and only graduated from junior middle school indeed.JobsIn 1971, Shanxi railway department recruited workers in northwest of China, Zhao Kun thus got a job of building railway in Shanxi Province. He was 20 this year. According to Li Juncheng, Zhao Kun abandoned his job and went back in less than two years because of the harsh living conditions and unwilling to endure hardships. Then he had nothing to do, just wandered around, stirring up troubles here and there. His father feared his eldest son might go astray, thus retired from his position, to let his son take over his job. From then on, Zhao Kun became the switchman and track worker of Yagou railway station. From then on, he restrained himself from troublesome behaviors. Two years later, he was transferred to Acheng station as a railway maintainer. During this time, He learned carpentry and earned extra money in his spare time. It was also at this period of time, he changed his name Zhao Kun to Zhao Weishan. He complained the name Zhao Kun was obsolete, and asked his brother whether he want to change or not. He then went to the commune with a reference letter from the school, changed his name. His father had quarreled with him because of this matter.MarriageIn 1976, he got acquainted with Fu Yunzhi through introduction. She was a worker in Acheng Chemistry Reagent Company (not Acheng Cake Factory as information on the Internet). They got married one year later. Fu Yunzhi's aunt Huang Shuying, was quite impressed by Zhao Weishan when she first saw him, handsome and decent, but was short, under 5.3 feet tall. The newly married couple did not have their own house at that time. Zhao Weishan worked hard then. Later he






Yagou Station, where Zhao Weishan once workedbought a plot of land, and built a house by himself (two tiled-roof houses at Yingbin Hutong in Acheng station, where now is the Hepan Lijing Residential District). It was once a low-lying land. Wastewater flowing from surrounding houses stagnated there. She says, house could not be built on such a land. Nobody wanted to buy it. However, Zhao Weishan had enough confidence to change the situation. He bought a skinny cow and a wood cart, with which he moved soil to fill the land in his spare time. Moving four or five carts of soil a day, he almost worked all winter long, filling the land up finally. Then tamped down the earth, and built their house on the solid base. He made the doors, windows, as well as a big wardrobe and a cabinet by himself. Huang Shuying's mother once visited him, and said that what he did was just like the story of Yugong removing the mountains. Few people could bear such hardships,” she says. When the house was finished, some water still flowed to the front of the house. You have to pass over the muddy water, then get to their house, Zhao Qingfang recalls. Their first daughter Zhao Duojia was born in 1979. Because of some health problems, Zhao Weishan preached gospel to her. she believed in Jesus and got well soon. Although it was Zhao Weishan who preached to her, in her eyes, man was just man, he could not be God. After about ten years of marriage life, Fu Yunzhi was divorced from him and got married again.
 

Fu Yunzhi, Zhao's ex-wifeBeliefHe once had converted to Buddhism and later to Catholicism in 1970s, the time when he was a railway staff. Then he became a Christian and was soon keen on preaching. He said that Christianity was much better than Buddhism and Catholicism. According to Xu Li and Li Yazhen, both of whom believed in Jesus at the same time with Zhao Weishan, they told us that Zhao converted in 1979 (but what Zhao Qingfang said is the year of 1983, which did not match the following facts and their happening time). Before that he had studied “fengshui” from The Book of Changesand oftenperformed magic arts or drew magic figures for others as a geomancer. He took several apprentices in 1977 when he built his own house, but only Liu Shouxin stayed. The others left because they couldn't stand his strict requirements and fiery temper. Liu Shouxin was the son of Liu Jianliang, an elder of the church. They often came to help Zhao Weishan build the house, meanwhile preached gospel to him. And he received.After the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held in 1978, a loose religious policy was adopted in the succeeding period of economic reform. After became a Christian, he had great enthusiasm (Zhao Qingfang said). He had to work everyday because trains ran busily those days. But he preached gospel everywhere after work, even to those whom he had drawn magic figure for, told by Li Li. Zhao Weishan persuaded his brother Zhao Yu and sisters to believe into Jesus, but no one followed his way. As his brother Zhao Yu says, Can believing in such thing feed you? From 1983, Zhao Weishan changed jobs frequently, for sparing more time to preaching. When heard that workers in Acheng Starch factory could take days off because of bad economic efficiency, he found a way to exchange his job with others so as to work in the starch factory. Not long after that, he went to the Second Xinhua Printing Plant in Heilongjiang Province as a printer, for the printing plant was nearly closed down, would have more rest days. As the Document 19, named Concerning our Country's Basic Standpoint and Policy on Religious Questions during the Socialist Period, released in March 1982, the Protestant Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) soon spread over the country. TSPM church was also set up in Acheng, with three elders: Li Jingxin, Liu Jianliang and Hao Zhenfang, who were all in their 60s or 70s. Zhao Weishan joined the local TSPM church as well. He volunteered to teach hymns in church and had the gift of preaching. The elders intended to train him at first, and Zhao respected their services. But later, he found that these elders often forgot verses, even interpreted wrongly, then he began to despise and object them. He insisted on the immersion baptism, instead of sprinkling baptism in the church. As a result, he left them, holding meetings at his own house. Qi Yan, the wife of Liu Shouxin, followed him, while Liu and his father still stayed in the TSPM church.





 the TSPM church in Acheng
 the meeting place in YongyuanViolationIn 1985, Zhao Weishan's parents and his six-year-old daughter died of Carbon monoxide poisoning when they were burning charcoal to keep warmth. He went back to Yagou to attend the funeral. He did not grieve for his parents mucheven was happy in some way. He put a red cross on the body of his father, and prayed for a while. After the death of his parents, he devoted his whole self to the work of preaching. Indeed his preaching did not attract many people in the city because of the existing of the normal church. Therefore, he turned to urban areas. The Yongyuan villige in Acheng (now belongs to the Daowai District of Harbin), where he founded the Yongyuan True God Church, was the base of his propagation. From 1986 to 1989, the church expanded so quickly that until 1991, its adherents increased to a thousand. During the time, he propagated in Henan Province and Anhui Province, thus met members of the Shouters (many online articles told us Zhao was a previous leader of the Shouters, which turned out to be wrong). He has several core members like Guo qinjun, Yi Haitao, He Zhexun and Dou Chunsheng, etc. Their main meeting places were in Guo Qinjun's house (Guo and his wife were faithful followers) and Yi Haitao's house in Yongyuan village.Li Yazhen who attended the meeting at Zhao Weishan's home for about two years during 1984 to 1985, she recalls, I was not familiar with the Bible at that time, but felt there was something wrong with his spirit. So I asked Hao Zhenfang, the elder ( he was at his 80s then. When the TSPM church was just founded, he often preached in Zhao Weishan's house ), and he had the same feeling as mine. I had two dreams later on, one was about a withered tree splitting in half, from its inside there were two small sneaks crawling out. The other dream was of a veiled woman, who tried to lead me away, but I did not follow her. I was quite clear to know that the dreams were related to Zhao Weishan. Then I watched for his words and behaviors. There was something weird about him. So I left them. But I had some books left there, and then I contacted him . When I saw him again, the black and skinny man became whitefat and well dressed, together with a dozen people from Yongyuan. Among them there was a woman called Dou Yanqiu (the daughter of Dou Chunsheng), almost 20 years younger than Zhao Weishan. I was told that she had been caught away into Paradise when she slept in the bed, and had ate the delicious life tree fruits. She was the living female Christ (it was happened in 1986). The atmosphere in the house was spooky, so I left as soon as got my books, with no more words. I heard from Fu Yunzhi later, that Zhao Weishan and Dou Yanqiu had been in a relationship already.Besides, according to the faithful follower Guo Qinjun, “many people attended meetings in my house. The number couldn't be count exactly, but sometimes it could be over one hundred. At the beginning he preached the Bible, while later what he preached deviated from the bible gradually. He said the Holy Spirit testified for him that he was the Lord, and when the Spirit was upon him, he became the Lord. I was confused about it. How could a man became the Lord.These things were completely impossible for theChristians, but most people believed so, and feared him. He called himself 'Almighty Lord' at that time. We believed everything he said. Yi Haitao was one of the most trusted core members. He and all his families regarded Zhao as the Almighty Lord. The believers often chanted the content of prayer when they were in the meetings. When came to the meeting's climax, they would let Zhao ride on them. Zhao Qingfang once asked Yi Haitao's father Yi Dafang, You are much older than Zhao Weishan, why do you let him ride on you? Yi Dafang answered without hesitation, he is the true God, the visible and touchable Almighty Lord.From their strange words and behaviors, we can see a variation of his faith and his spirit. What happened to him in those days remains unknown. However, according to some clues from the Internet, the author visits the person who received Zhao Weishan in Henan Province at that time, in order to seek the reasons why he violated his faith from 1985.EscapeOn May 8th, 1991, a group of people were detained by the railway police at Harbin Three Tree Railway Station. They came from Henan or somewhere else, to hear sermons preached by Zhao Weishan, the Almighty Lord. The police seized many religious books about Almighty Lord with Yongyuan, Acheng printed on them. Thus the religious affairs bureau's officers claimed them as the evil cult. Then the police made a quick arrest in Yongyuan, but did not succeed. The Yongyuan Church founded by Zhao Weishan expanded in a quick speed, with thousands of adherents within two years. Because of its nefarious influence, the local government declared it as an illegal organization, and sealed off their printing plant in a bust.Later Zhao Weishan fled to Mudan River firstly, and then bypassed Jinan City to Dengfeng County (not Qingfeng County). We find Xu Wuye, who was among the group of people being caught at Three Tree Station. She and her husband Wang Wanqing lives in Xiwa Village of Dengfeng County in Henan Province. She tells us the stories of those days. The church in Dengfeng was led by Liu Bin, who followed Cheng You, an elder of a Lutheran Church from Lushan County. Later Cheng You left the Lutheran church to join the Local Church. He sought for a higher position there, but failed. In the “strike hard campaign of 1983, many elders in Lushan local church were falsely arrested because of being mistaken for the Shouters. Cheng You seized the opportunity to establish a new sect, claiming that he was anointed as the father of China by God. His follower Liu Bin was given a new name Authority Lord. Then in 1987 Chen You was arrested. Liu Bin began to be in contact with Zhao Weishan during the time from 1988 to 1991. When Zhao Weishan sought truth in Dengfeng, Liu Bin gave him a spiritual name called “Almighty LordLiu Bin also organized the believers to hear sermons given by Zhao Weishan in Yongyuan Town of Harbin. During the time, Zhao Weishan lived in the house of Wang Changqing, Xu Wuye's brother. Xu Wuye was arrested on the return journey in May 1991. She was impressed with that trip, and still remembered a song taught by Zhao Weishan in Yongyuan, A good place as Heilongjiang in the eastern, a shining star arising. Zhao Weishan had hid away for five years in Dengfeng County of Henan since 1991. The first three years he lived with Jiaowai's family and next two years with Zhou Shuangxi's. He selected six women and gave them new spiritual name respectively: All-Almighty, All-Complete, All-Prepared, All Glory, All-Victorious, All-Knowing, All-Reverence and All-Worthy. The seven people gathered in Jiaowai's houseevery morning, praying and studying together. After that, they began to speak and then wrote words down, which were collected as the book The Utterance of the Seven Spirits.
Wedding Photo of Zhao Weishan and Yang XiangbinYang Xiangbin was called Almighty among the six women. She was born on November 18, 1973, 22 years younger than Zhao Weishan. She was the daughter of Yang Maorong and Xu Zhenlin, from Shanxi Province (not a Mrs. Yang or Mrs. Deng from Henan Province according to the online materials). After failing the Chinese national college entrance exam, she was so stressful that suffered from a mental breakdown. Zhao Weishan met her in an underground preaching meeting in Datong, Shanxi Province. He showed special care for her and she was attracted by him. Gradually they developed a secret intimate relationship with each other. Yang Xiangbin often declared that she was moved by the Holy Spirit and saw visions. She often gave utterance to her delusions, dreams or visions, and proclaimed as Gods Word in the name of Christ. Therefore, Zhao Weishan disguised her as a female Christ, the Almighty God and the true God. He announced that people should stop believing in “Almighty Lord, but turn to God Himself. This is the source of the Church of Almighty God (Eastern Lighting).In the summer of 1993, Zhao Weishan held a coworker meeting in a female follower's house in Ruyang County of Luoyang, to testify the process of Yang Xiangbin changing to the Almighty God. A previous follower called Ling Hui (an alias) recalls the scene, “we sat on the benches in the room, listening to Zhao Weishan and the female God. They said that there were several God Himself’ before, but now only one, the female God. Zhao Weishan explained that several God Himself was just a step, God has been incarnated in a female this time. That was Yang Xiangbin. He himself was the high priest. The first time God incarnated in a man, so the second time being a female. I was happy to hear their testimony, because it sounds reasonable. She learned later that the Almighty God and the high priest turned out to be a couple. They got married in 1993 and had a child in 1995. Few people in the church knew it. She did not make it public, because it would blaspheme the God to comment on God's flesh. The Book of the Word Appears in the Flesh was later compiled from Zhao and Yang's words, as the classic doctrine of the cult. The Church of the Almighty God was formed formally until then.Zhao Weishan was arrested in 1997 for committed in activities of evil cult, and was thereby sentenced to three years of reeducation through labor. After being released from the jail in May 2000, he got a business invitation of discussion about the future agriculture from an American company. Together with his wife Yang Xiangbin, as well as the other five core members, they fled to the United States in the name of business investigation in September of the same year. Zhao and Yang lied about their age under the aliases of Xu wenshan and Wang Yurong. They also took on the new personae of the director of the agriculture technology promotion service center in Shangshui County and the directer of the agricultural committee in Lushan County respectively. The other five people disguised as mangers or engineers of seed companies or agricultural machinery companies. In 2001, Zhao Weishan sought political asylum for religious persecution and filed for permanent residency in the United States. His six years old son Zhao Ming got a passport under the alias of Xu Tianbao on March 7, 2001. On December 12, he was taken by a 40 years old man from Guangzhou to America, with a visit visa. According to the police, Zhao Weishan's passport application materials and Identification Card were falsified, as well as their identifying paper issued by the organizations. The handwritings in two approval documents were written by same person too.


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