Ms. Stephanie Zhang

Faith Helped a Woman Endure Her Darkest Moments

Stephanie Zhang with a photo of her father, a victim to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

Stephanie Zhang with a photo of her father, a victim to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

“I would bring my father’s portrait to candlelight vigils held every year,” said Stephanie Zhang, as she looked at her father’s photo with tears in her eyes.

The late Mr. Zhang Shouren

Stephanie’s father, Mr. Zhang Shouren, was a factory supervisor before he retired. After he started to practice Falun Gong in 1997, his hereditary high blood pressure and heart problems disappeared.

On July 20, 1999, after then Chinese Leader Jiang Zemin launched a campaign to persecute Falun Gong, 65-year-old Zhang and his wife went to Tiananmen Square in October 2000 to appeal for the practice. He was arrested and spent over 3 months sleeping on the floor in the harsh northern winter in Beijing.

During Zhang’s detention, he was brutally beaten and his body collapsed.

According to, after Mr. Zhang was locked up at the Wanbolin Detention Center in Taiyuan City, the police slapped his face until it was all swollen. Then, they beat him with electric batons and rubber clubs until they were so tired that they could not continue. The second time he was brutalized, Mr. Zhang was so injured and dizzy that he could not stand or even speak. He was nauseous and fell on the floor. For days, he could not walk properly.

Several months later, Stephanie’s mother was also arrested. Although Stephanie was able to demand her father’s release in January 2001, he passed away in August 2001 from his injuries. 

With her father deceased, mother arrested, and the university she taught at pressuring her to write a renunciatory statement of her faith, Stephanie lived under great stress.

Through the toughest moments, faith helped her persevere. “One cannot endure such hardship. I had only one thought: there is nothing wrong in believing in God and having a spiritual belief.”

Excerpted from

Washington DC: Candlelight Vigil Held to Mourn Victims of 22 Years of Persecution | Falun Dafa –