"In church, we would call this a spiritual war," Water quietly said in a CNN interview. "Every day, this spiritual war is not what I prepared for but now I find I am in it." Water says she merely wants a margin of religious freedom, but her pursuit has been rocky. Over the past three weeks, Water is followed by the police at home and near the church site. She was detained two weeks ago at the police station overnight. Her mother, who is also a Christian, and her father, who is not, have been harassed, she said. "My father, who is not a believer, even came to visit me at the police station where I was held," Water recalled. "Every day I face a new situation with new difficulties. I try to ignore them but their approach every day is different," she explained. "They make my daily life pretty challenging." Water, who started practicing Christianity because she felt the Communist Party "left [her] empty," says that she prays for her country to find "strength" on a daily basis. At the same time, she is realistic about the risks she has taken. "Personally I don't know how long I can last because the pressure is pretty intense, because they try to harass your family, your workplace and your landlord. They want to evict you," she told. "They want to control you." Water has been accepted to a graduate school program in North America that will commence this fall but unlike most Chinese, she worries less about obtaining the necessary foreign visa than her ability to merely exit the country. "I've seen what is happening around me and to be honest, I'm not sure how I'll end up," she told, referring to a recent series of detainments by customs police at the Beijing airport, most notably Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei on April 3.
They try to harass your family, your workplace and your landlord