A new book by a former dissident and pastor of an illegal underground church in China, God’s Double Agent, tells the harrowing story of Bob Fu’s secret life and eventual escape to the U.S. as a refugee in 1997. The remarkable true story shines a bright light on the persecution Christians face in China, as it describes a death-defying faith journey of one man and his wife in and eventually out of their homeland in search of religious freedom.
Fu answered a few questions for us about his book, and the non-profit he started here to advocate for the underground church in China, ChinaAid.
What compelled you to share your story now?
I am encouraged to share what’s really happening around religious freedom and human rights in China and what God has been doing among the Chinese people through my personal story.
Why did you call the book “God’s Double Agent”?
I used to work as an English teacher in the Communist Party School while I was leading underground house churches in Beijing.
You were an atheist before you became a Christian. How did you become a Christian?
God used the student democracy movement in 1989 in which I deeply involved as a student leader at my university. I was convicted and converted through a written testimony of a Chinese pastor. At the time I almost became a suicide bomber because of despair due to the political persecution after the massacre by the Chinese government. I saw the light of God who convicted me and turned me into a “new creation” in Christ.
What was your life like in China as a leader of the Underground Church?
It was busy for harvesting in the world largest spiritual harvest field because everyday thousands of Chinese come to Christ and millions are thirsty. I was leading bible studies and campus churches as well as underground bible school. But God matured more through ministries and family life.
What led you and your wife to escape and how did you do it?
After we were arrested, imprisoned, then released under house arrest, my wife was pregnant facing forced abortion without “pregnant permit” due to a cruel family planning system. We also learned from an insider we would be re-arrested soon. So we decide to leave Beijing and went into hiding until we got out of China miraculously.
How did ChinaAid begin?
After we came to the US as refugees in 1997, we heard so many firsthand stories from a number of suffering faithful and freedom fighters. We are told to “remember those in bond as if we are bound with them.” We can not sit silently when we heard their cries. ChinaAid started to advance religious freedom and rule of law in China.
What are the biggest issues facing Chinese Christians today?
The major issues are church unity, rapid urbanization and danger of cultic teachings. Of course the government is still trying every way to persecute the church with different tactics.
For more on God’s Double Agent – and to read an excerpt – visit the Patheos Book Club here.