Before and After the Tiananmen Movement: the Legacy of a Fight for Freedom

Image: flickr.com/croma

 

On June 4th, 2014 we held a memorial service for the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre. On that day in 1989, the blood of those who sought freedom, hope, truth, and a better China was shed. Today, we take a look at the events to led to that fateful day on June 4th, 1989 and what had transpired afterwards.

 

Watch the videos here and here or read the transcript below:

 

In 1949, Chairman Mao declared the founding of the People's Republic of China and the people rejoiced at the brand new start. However, little did they know that it was only the beginning of decades of oppression and terror. While the Cold War wreaked havoc across the world, Mao's Great Leap Forward campaign began in China. It was expected to generate properity, but instead it led the nation into a three year famine and at least 15 million people died from starvation. Soon, Mao unleashed the equally devastating Cultural Revolution. Many historic landmarks were destroyed and “anti-revolutionists” were mocked and purged. 

 

After Mao’s  death, General Secretary Hu Yaobang called for three reforms: political reform, economic reform, and spiritual reform. Hu was then cast out from the Communist Party and soon passed away. Students paid tribute to Hu and requested a free and democratic China, and so the Tiananmen Square protests began. 

 

News about the movement spread quickly and protestors sprang up in more than 400 cities across the nation. The government labeled the movement as “turmoil,” but this only strengthened the people’s desire for liberty. Protestors held hunger strikes to show their commitment to a better country, and while many officials showed sympathy to the vulnerable students, leader Deng Xiaoping remained firm. 

 

Martial law was declared over China. Large military forces were moved into Beijing and, in response, the students erected the Statue of Democracy in Tiananmen Square. By June 4th, 1989, the final showdown between freedom and tyranny had begun. The government revealed their strength through tanks, soldiers and gunfire. The people of China displayed their strength through acts of love, peace, and courage. 

 

The Tiananmen Massacre sent a shockwave around the world, triggering the collapse of communism in numerous countries. The Berlin Wall fell, the communist leader of Hungary was executed, and the Soviet Union dissolved, but communist China stood still. 

 

The nation entered into an era of white terror. Many innocent people were imprisoned or killed, and the people who had lost hope in the government began to look for comfort elsewhere. Some turned to the seductive power of materialism to fill the void in their hearts, but that didn’t help. Instead, corruption became rampant, and the wealth gap between the rich and the poor grew wider and wider. 

 

As for the Tiananmen student leaders themselves, most were captured or exiled. Those who did reach freedom searched for hope in education, in successful careers, and in continual protests for a better China. Every year in Hong Kong, a vigil is held on the night of June 4th. Tens of thousands of people gather to commemorate the victims of the Tiananmen Massacre. 

 

However, revisionists tried to rewrite the history of June 4th to make it as if nothing happened on that day at all. By the time the 2008 Beijing Olympics arrived, China had appeared more powerful than ever and the world bowed at its power and glamour. Meanwhile, the Chinese media continued to cover up the truth of its inglorious past. Soon, the world began to forget the students’ dream of freedom and democracy, the sacrifice of their young, brave lives and the blood that was shed over their own country.

 

Where is hope for justice? Is it in the American government? In the United Nations? In elite education? In entrepreneurship? 

 

No. Jesus is our only true hope.

 

“In this world, you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33, ESV” 

 

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10, ESV”

 

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalms 34:18, ESV”

 

Today, the struggle continues, but we can work together and defeat this darkness. When God’s people join together to pray for freedom in China, He will be open up a path for the righteous and for those who call on Him for help. In the chaos, there is no other name but Jesus that we can call on, and He will be our beacon of hope. 

 

Pray and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Do not let your heart sit idle. Set out to do God's work with power and courage!

 

 

All Girls Allowed (http://www.allgirlsallowed.org) was founded in 2010 with a mission to display the love of Jesus by restoring life, value and dignity to girls and mothers in China and revealing the injustice of the One-Child Policy.  “In Jesus’ Name, Simply Love Her.”




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