God Is Red: The Secret Story of How Christianity Survived and Flourished in Communist China
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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.
faith. One morning I woke up feeling awful and depressed. So I covered myself with my quilt and started praying. I asked the Lord to direct me to the right path. I prayed for about ten minutes before I heard someone mumbling something. There was a little girl in the bed next to me, and she seemed to be talking in her sleep: “Take it easy, Ruth. You will be fine.” I woke her up and asked what she was saying. She was still half asleep and didn’t understand my question. I gently raised my voice and
with a quilt. It was one o’clock in the afternoon. It was sunny and the sky was blue. The road was empty by the time we left, the cart moving slowly, us on each side walking with it. I remember there were birds, flying and chirping, and it felt like Father was still alive all around us. Some Miao people stopped our cart and said their good-byes to my father. Some were old, some young, some we knew, some were strangers. A little girl climbed onto the cart, opened the quilt, and touched my
used horses, donkeys, and human legs to move around. To get to Kunming took twenty days; now you can do it by bus in ten hours. I had wanted to stay in Yunnan, but a few days before graduation, the seminary received a letter from a preacher in Zhaojue County in Sichuan province. He was a doctor from London and planned to set up a medical school there, but he only spoke Mandarin and the county was in the heart of the Yi region. The Yi language and culture were quite challenging for the British
Bibles. Father doesn’t believe his house church should be registered as a nonprofit organization as that would place him under government authority. Our house has been ransacked several times, and we are being constantly harassed, but my father’s position remains unchanged. He continues to preach and the number of his followers has increased many times over. Several years ago, we moved into a new apartment. That was the one you visited. Liao: I decided to visit your parents because I saw them
underground churches have been locked up because they pledged loyalty to the Vatican, not the Communist Party. Many underground leaders try to maintain contact with the Vatican through secret channels. It’s a long story. Anyhow, before Teacher Bai was arrested, she introduced me to Father Zhang Gangyi, and at Easter in 1993 I went to Zhangerce Village in Gaoling County, Shaanxi province, and was baptized by Father Zhang. He was eighty-six and his Christian name was Anthony. I hope you will always