Wikio - Top Blogs - Religion and belief

Saturday, 5 September 2015

God is Red

'Liao Yiwu, 57, has lived in exile in Berlin since 2011. He was a leading Chinese literary figure until 1989 when he wrote a long poem titled Massacre addressed to the authors of the Tiananmen massacre (4 June 1989). Sentenced to four years in jail, he experienced life behind bars and social exclusion.

Although his books have been banned, they are widely circulated underground. Among the most famous are The Corpse Walker (English translation by Pantheon, 2008) and Dans l'empire des ténèbres ('In the empire of darkness,' in French, by François Bourin Editeur, 2013), in which he describes his experiences in prison.

In God is Red, published in 2011 in English and in French last month, he talks about his encounters with Christians from Yunnan, Hebei, Beijing and other parts of China. Before that, Liwu had never been interested in Christianity ...

In prison, Liao met with Christian prisoners. In doing so, he discovered another group of fellow Chinese. In God is Red, he relates the stories of some 20 people, Catholics and Protestants. Like many Chinese who do not know the history of the Church, he cannot see much difference between the two.

At the book launch on 12 February, he noted that converting to Christianity is "fashionable" in China. "During the 2000s, there was a strong sense of insecurity, of threat, in China," he said in the interview. "Not everyone had Liu Xiaobo's inner strength to resist those in power". A friend of Liao Yiwu, Liu won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2009, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison for some of his online writings.

"Conversion is a way to find spiritual assistance. Yu Jie, a writer who became famous in the 90s, converted after feeling overwhelmed by the regime's threats. My friend Wang Yi did the same, as did their wives. For them it is a way to stop fear. Moreover, when we would meet, my recently converted friends would urge me to convert as well."

Even though Liao Yiwu is not a Christian, he is impressed by the courage Christians showed. Persecuted by the Communist government, they have remained steadfast in their faith.

"They all impressed me. Their fierce resistance for the freedom to believe inspired me a lot," he said. "The one who impressed me the most was a lady who was more than 100 years old, who was filled with holy anger. It is this holy anger that made her live. She wanted to fight until the complete victory of freedom for her religion."'

Friday's Guardian included a report about the current situation:

'A Chinese human rights lawyer who disappeared into police custody last month after joining the fight against a government drive to take down church crosses could face spying charges.

Zhang Kai, a Beijing-based attorney, was seized by security officials on 25 August in Wenzhou, a city in the eastern province of Zhejiang sometimes referred to as China’s Jerusalem because of its large Christian population.

Zhang had been in Wenzhou offering legal support to churches battling a controversial Communist party demolition drive that has targeted Christian places of worship since late 2013.

Writing on Weibo, China’s Twitter, two weeks before his detention, Zhang said: “I have thought it through: at worst they can put me in jail. But if I keep silent, I will regret it for the rest of my life.”'


No comments: