By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
It has just been revealed that a leader of the 1989 Tiannamen Square protests has converted to Christianity, and says one of the reasons for her decision was the country’s one-child policy which causes “a daily Tiannamen massacre” every day in China.
AsiaNews.it is reporting that Chai Ling, the only woman leader of the bloody protests that took place in Tiannamen Square in 1989 was baptized Christian on April 4. On the day of her baptism, she explained that one of the reasons she became Christian is because of all the violence in her country, particularly the forced abortions caused by the one-child policy which she defines as “a daily Tiananmen massacre, a hundred times over and done in broad daylight.”
The daughter of soldiers in the Chinese Army who was once one of the most wanted people in China, Chai Ling escaped and is now living in Boston with her husband, Robert Maggin, Jr. At the time of the massacre, she was a 23 year-old psychology major at Beijing Normal University and the only female group leader of the protest.
After the massacre, she lived in hiding for some time until she was able to flee to France and eventually to the United States. She graduated from Harvard University with a degree in economics and now owns a software company along with her husband that employs nearly 300 people.
Although she has always been active in humanitarian work within China, a turning point in her life came last November when she heard the testimony of Wujian, a Chinese woman forced to abort because she was pregnant without permission from the office responsible for population control.
“That moment brought back all the memories of helplessness and pain we experienced on the night of the June 4 massacre in 1989,” she said. “Wujian’s story is just one of the 10,000 cases that occurred in that single county in China in 2005. In the past three decades, an estimated 400 million lives have been brutally taken by abortion in China; many were in this form of cruel and inhumane operations, which not only ended the babies’ lives, but also deeply traumatized and endangered the surviving mothers….
“No one could ever forget the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre even though it has now been over twenty years. Yet very few of us realized that the three words ‘One Child Policy’ would be a marching order for brutality hundreds times more to the Tiananmen Massacre to happen in the day light, to be repeated each and every day.”
Chai Ling had no religious education while growing up in China, AsiaNews reports. “We were not allowed to believe in God,” she recalled. “God” was deemed by the leaders as the evil things that the capitalists use to brainwash the people. It was a word that was forbidden in our society. As a result, God’s love was scarce too. The society was filled with hatred, distrust and fear.”
She was aided in her conversion by her husband, a Protestant Christian, and some friends who work in the pro-life movement.
Today, she speaks with compassion about the Chinese leaders responsible for so the bloodshed in China.
“God’s forgiveness is so complete, even one of the two criminals, who was crucified with Him, when he repented for his sins, Christ promises to bring him to heaven. If only, the leaders of China could have heard, no matter what they have done and have committed, if only they repentant, they can receive the same kind of love and forgiveness we all receive. What a great gift they will receive? Freedom for themselves and for China, at last!”
Chai Ling’s conversion is not the only one that occurred among the ranks of the leaders of the Tiannanmen uprising. Many other leaders came to the same conclusion she did – that a commitment to human rights makes even more sense when it is grounded in Christianity.
“When we thought we were starting a democracy movement, we shouted out all man are born equal,” she said. “Now I know I can say it with confidence because God had created us all equal in his image and likeness.”
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