By day, Bob Fu was a teacher in a communist school; by night, he was a preacher in an underground house church network. God's Double Agent tells the true story of Fu's conversion to Christianity, his arrest and imprisonment for starting an illegal house church, his harrowing escape, and his subsequent rise to prominence in the United States as an advocate for his oppressed brethren.
The son of farmers from China's northeast, Bob led classmates at Liaocheng University to join the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square. It was after the army violently quashed the demonstrations and Bob was hauled in for interrogation that he had his crisis of faith. The tipping point, he said, was betrayal by the university president, his mentor, and the classmates who implicated him to save themselves.
One night Mr. Fu devoured a book, smuggled in by a foreign Christian teacher, about the redemption of an opium addict who went on to establish a drug-treatment center. "I realized only the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit could help me," he said.
Redeemed by writing countless self-criticisms, Mr. Fu escaped serious punishment and eventually moved to Beijing, along with Cai Bochun, a fellow student he later married. They started a small house church - an unofficial congregation outside state control - even as Mr. Fu landed a job teaching English at the Communist Party's central school.The incongruity of working by day for an officially atheist government and preaching the Gospel by night was not lost on him. "I was God's double agent," he likes to say with a shy smile.
In 1995, the police discovered the clandestine congregation and Mr. Fu and his wife were taken into custody. Their two-month detention was marked by long interrogations and 10-15 hour days during which, Mr. Fu said, he was forced to sit with his arms and legs held upright. If he faltered, he said, other prisoners would beat him. "I got quite good at not moving," he said.
Tens of millions of Christians live in China today, leading double lives to hide from a government that relentlessly persecutes them. That was what led to the birth of ChinaAid Association, an international non-profit Christian human rights organization committed to promoting religious freedom and the rule of law in China.
Today, Bob is recognized as a leading expert on religious freedom and the persecuted church in China. He testifies regularly before the United Nations, U.S. congressional committees and other influential agencies concerning reports of abuses, especially violations of Chinese citizens' rights to religious freedom. Under his leadership, ChinaAid has expanded its mission to support legal defense in religious persecution cases, academic research on the rule of law, and ministering to and training of house church leaders in China.