God Is Red: The Secret Story of How Christianity Survived and Flourished in Communist China

God Is Red: The Secret Story of How Christianity Survived and Flourished in Communist China

Liao Yiwu

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 006207847X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In God is Red, Chinese dissident journalist and poet Liao Yiwu—once lauded, later imprisoned, and now celebrated author of For a Song and a Hundred Songs and The Corpse Walker—profiles the extraordinary lives of dozens of Chinese Christians, providing a rare glimpse into the underground world of belief that is taking hold within the officially atheistic state of Communist China. Liao felt a kinship with Chinese Christians in their unwavering commitment to the freedom of expression and to finding meaning in a tumultuous society, even though he is not a Christian himself. This is a fascinating tale of otherwise unknown personalities thriving against all odds. God is Red will resonate with readers of Phillip Jenkins' The Lost History of Christianity and Peter Hessler's Country Driving.

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breathing. She is mumbling something to herself.” I would correct the person by saying, “She’s not talking to herself. She’s praying.” And they would ask, “What is she praying?” And I would repeat her words loudly, “Dear Lord, you put me here to test me in this secular world. Please forgive my sins and correct my thoughts. Please rescue me from the evil forces of this world. Amen.” Liao: Did people understand? Zhang: No, they didn’t. Many people said we were crazy. Some kindhearted people

and there was more food. In 1964 Mao countered with his “Socialist Education Campaign,” and Hou was called to attend a weeklong political study session with forty other Rightists and counterrevolutionaries at a segregated building guarded by soldiers. He was forced to answer question after question until he simply stopped talking and dropped to the ground, dead. There is no official record on the specifics of his death, and those in attendance suffered collective amnesia. All I have to go on are

province. “I have to cut the meat and vegetables very finely. I want to treat you to an authentic Shanxi dumpling feast.” Li was soon done, and as he wiped his hands on an old cloth, we began our talk: Liao Yiwu: How did you get sick? Li Linshan: Hmm . . . actually, I don’t know. I think I’ve always been sick. I was born in 1963, at the tail end of the three-year famine. While she was pregnant, my mother couldn’t get enough to eat in the city. She returned to her native village in Shanxi

mind—a team of cheerful doctors doing surgery while cracking jokes, a mobile army hospital, tents in an open field, the war in Korea. Liao: You must be talking about the TV show M*A*S*H. I’ve seen a couple of episodes. Sun: Yes. I felt inspired. The next day, I bought some basic surgical instruments to supplement the ones I carried with me, and we did the operation in her bedroom. Her bed was a wooden plank; no table necessary. All we had to do was clean up the room a bit and we could do it

ninety-two. My father converted when Run-en was born and had him baptized. We are one of the earliest Christian families in Yunnan province. A Yi family on the other side of the Pudu River became believers even earlier. At the beginning of the last century, there was a lot of trade across the Pudu River, and preachers followed the merchants on horseback and brought the gospel to Dega, and from Dega it was taken into the mountain regions—Shengfa, Zehei, Malutang, and Salaowu. In the early 1920s,

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