God Is Red: The Secret Story of How Christianity Survived and Flourished in Communist Chinaby Liao Yiwu
When journalist Liao Yiwu first stumbled upon a vibrant Christian community in the officially secular China, he knew little about Christianity. In fact, hed been taught that religion was evil, and that those who believed in it were deluded, cultists, or imperialist spies. But as a writer whose work has been banned in China and has even landed him in jail,
When journalist Liao Yiwu first stumbled upon a vibrant Christian community in the officially secular China, he knew little about Christianity. In fact, hed been taught that religion was evil, and that those who believed in it were deluded, cultists, or imperialist spies. But as a writer whose work has been banned in China and has even landed him in jail, Liao felt a kinship with Chinese Christians in their unwavering commitment to the freedom of expression and to finding meaning in a tumultuous society.
Unwilling to let his nation lose memory of its past or deny its present, Liao set out to document the untold stories of brave believers whose totalitarian government could not break their faith in God, including:
- The over-100-year-old nun who persevered in spite of beatings, famine, and decades of physical labor, and still fights for the rightful return of church land seized by the government
- The surgeon who gave up a lucrative Communist hospital administrator position to treat villagers for free in the remote, mountainous regions of southwestern China
- The Protestant minister, now memorialized in Londons Westminster Abbey, who was executed during the Cultural Revolution as an incorrigible counterrevolutionary
This ultimately triumphant tale of a vibrant church thriving against all odds serves as both a powerful conversation about politics and spirituality and a moving tribute to Chinas valiant shepherds of faith, who prove that a totalitarian government cannot control what is in peoples hearts.
A fascinating collection of interviews exploring the resurgence of Christianity in China.
No stranger to censorship, award-winning Chinese author, journalist and poet Liao (The Corpse Walker, 2008) has spent time in prison for writing critically of China's Communist regime. Here the author examines Christianity, which survived under China's Cultural Revolution despite attempts to eradicate it as a "lackey of the imperialists." While atheism remains the cultural norm in China today, estimates report that Christianity now stands as China's largest formal religion, surpassing both Buddhism and Taoism in numbers. In an attempt to understand why a foreign religion gained such popularity, Liao interviews a wide range of Chinese Christians, from an elderly nun who witnessed both the closing and eventual reopening of her church by the Communist regime, to a missionary doctor treating impoverished villagers in lieu of working in a government-run hospital, to a dying tailor who finds meaning in his recent conversion to the faith. Many of the interviewees recall hardships such as being socially ostracized, beaten, paraded in dunce caps or even arrested and tortured—and this in addition to suffering from the mass famine that claimed millions of lives between 1959 and 1962. A non-Christian himself, Liao transcribes his interviews with little additional commentary, allowing the heartbreaking tales of persecution and spiritual fervor to speak for themselves.
Will appeal to both Christian and secular readers interested in the cultural realities of China's Great Leap Forward.
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Meet the Author
Liao Yiwu is a critic of the Chinese regime, for which he has been imprisoned and his works have been banned. He is the author of The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories, China from the Bottom Up and a forthcoming memoir. In 2011, Liao dramatically escaped from China and now splits his time between the United States and Germany.
Wenguang Huang is a writer, journalist, and translator whose articles and translations have appeared in The Wall Street Journal Asia, Chicago Tribune, and The Paris Review. He is also the author of The Little Red Guard: A Family Memoir.
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Liao Yiwu's trademark interviews with outcasts and misfits--Christians in this book--tell more about China's totalitarian regime than any dozen newspaper/magazine/web articles about rising China.
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