Posted by: Fr Chris | April 14, 2018

You owe us five cents for the bullet we used to kill your daughter: The Harsh Reality of Chinese Communism

Lin Zhao visiting a tomb at Taoranting Park, Beijing in 1959.

Peng Lingzhao – Lin Zhao – in Beijing, 1959, from Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2018

On April 29, 1968, the Communist Chinese ordered the execution of a 36-year old Protestant woman known as Lin Zhao, after six years of  suffering in prison for  her “crimes” – of which she would be exonerated by the same government that killed her. Originally a Methodist convert in the 1940s, she became a Communist, hoping for an end to the rampant corruption of the Kuomintang government. Instead China received an incredibly harsh regime that remains in power today. While Mao Tse Tung Thought was rejected after the excesses of the Cultural Revolution caused millions of deaths (let alone all those who died from famine, lack of care, and the pollution of heavy industrialization), Xi Jingping Thought is now part of the Constitution; he also holds full, unlimited power, with no term limit. Dissidents fear China is regressing and losing any rule of law – ask Christians about that one as crosses get torn off church towers.

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Thousands of crosses have been torn off church towers since 2015 

Lin Zhao was imprisoned during Mao’s campaign against “rightists” – people who stood up to his dictatorial rule after the Hundred Flowers campaign in 1958. She was imprisoned, and on her release, returned to Christianity, just as the Churches were entering their worst period of oppression (so far) that would last until 1980. Jailed again, she literally wrote poetry and essays in her own blood on any material handy.  Her unknown writings so terrified the regime that her execution was ordered. Her family only found out when a government agent showed up at their door demanding the payment for the bullet that killed her. What kind of a leader is afraid of words? Words that only the secret police knew? What kind of leader is so afraid of what people might read about him? One who knows he does not hold a mandate from the people and who knows his position is insecure as a result.

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Chinese police expel people who were visiting Lin Zhao’s tomb on 45th anniversary of her execution in 2013 when 200 policemen were assigned to keep people away: South China Morning Post, 2015, 29 April 

Given the fear expressed recently by police driving away pilgrims to her tomb in Suzhou, the 50th anniversary will likely be marked by arrests and restrictions on entering the cemetery on Linyang hill. Who fears people going to a grave? People like Pontius Pilate.

You can read more about her at links below,  and many of her writings are in this book:  The Blood Letters: The Untold Story of Lin Zhao, a Martyr in Mao’s China (Basic Books, 2018)




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