Letter to the Tiananmen Victims' Families
and My People in China
by Chai Ling
It has been 27 years since the night of the Beijing/Tiananmen massacre. No one would have ever expected that justice has not been administered, freedom has not been granted, and those in exile have not returned home. If we look at the little to no progress that has been made so far, we may get discouraged and lose heart. But if we look at history, if we look at the eternal justice of God, our momentary sorrow will turn into great hope.
Last night, as news came through various internet sources that China's pastors were taken into prison on the eve of this year's anniversary, that 125,000 people gathered in Hong Kong's Victoria Park to remember Tiananmen and continue the freedom movement in Hong Kong, that Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi sent out her statement of remembrance, and that conversations and comments surfaced on numerous websites regarding June 4th, I felt a deep sense of heaviness upon me, one that aimed to crush my hope. Twenty-seven years -- this has been a long time. I prayed fervently, seeking answers and inspirations, and the Holy Spirit led me to discover this newly released documentary: Messenger of the Truth. I watched it again and again. Despite the hard ending, I was encouraged, comforted, and strengthened. It is the true story of the 37-year-old priest Father Jerzy Popiełuszko, who gave his life to share and defend the truth. The truth and his courage to share it with his people gave life to the Solidarity movement in Poland, as former Polish President Lech Wałęsa once said. I recognized that spirit! It is the same spirit of courage and sacrifice demonstrated at Tiananmen, by us students and by Beijing citizens. Some also gave their lives just as Father Jerzy did. Some paid the price of imprisonment and some, like myself, remain living in exile. It was the same spirit I now know called Jesus.
It blessed my heart to see victories and redemption arise from senseless violence. On the day of the Beijing massacre, Poland's Solidarity party won an overwhelming 99 out of 100 seats in an election that led to the peaceful fall of the communist regime in the summer of 1989. Hence started the domino fall of Eastern Europe, Former Soviet Union, Middle East, and Africa. These were powerful and exhilarating years in history. I heard pieces and bits of those events by sticking my ear close to a small radio during my 10 months of hiding as one of China's most wanted after the massacre. Now that I got a chance to research this part of history, I am still overwhelmed with joy and amazement. I finally understand what Deng Xiaoping was trying to do when he decided to order the Beijing massacre to stop this wave of global liberation. But Deng was wrong. History has shown over and over again: violence will never stop freedom. Not then, not now!
"Totalitarian systems destroy man because they captivate his inside, his thoughts, free will and conscience. The only efficient defense against these systems is the Truth," said Father Jerzy. And that truth is Jesus Christ, who, as the only son of God, was sent by God to earth, and onto the cross. Jesus died for me and for the billions of lives in China, so whoever accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior will no longer live in slavery, but in abundance, justice, and eternity. This is the truth that I was searching for through my time at Tiananmen Square 27 years ago, through my 10 months of hiding inside China, and through my life in exile in America. I have finally found the truth 6.5 years ago. I have lived in the truth. I can testify that this truth not only set me free, but also ended the brutal One-Child Policy in China that killed 400 million babies -- through our faith in prayer, repentance, and forgiveness, it set millions of second child free from death and welcomed them into life, and more. With this truth, Father Jerzy inspired the Polish people to stand up for their freedom. Now as a nation of China, it is my prayer that when you watch this remarkable movie, you will be inspired by this truth, and know that your freedom is not in the hands of the Chinese government, but in God, who has given us freedom through his son's brutal death 2,000 years ago on the cross.
So let us receive this priceless offer of truth and freedom. Let us be confident that we are set free indeed, and let us remain in freedom. Let us keep this unshakeable hope: when China as a nation turns to God, China will be set free!
For the victims' families, may you know this truth: your family, like my mother and grandmother who passed away shortly after the massacre and after my exile to America, did not die in vain. I have never gone back to China since 1990 even to attend my mother and grandmother's funerals. There is not a day that goes by that I don't miss them. But I remain with this hope: they are in heaven with God, just as your loved ones, together with Father Jerzy, with our Savior Jesus! One day we shall be reunited with them. Our sadness will be replaced with joy and our tears will be no more! So on the 27th anniversary of Tiananmen, may you receive this truth and be made strong in hope too!
June 4th, 2016 in Boston
Images: Wikipedia, Amazon