Culver City, CA

Christian poet Lin Zhao’s resistance to Mao Zedong to be recalled at virtual event hosted by Wende Museum on February 1

D.J. Eaton
Christianity has not disappeared in China.Photo byTimothy EberlyonUnsplash

The rivalry between Christianity and Maoism in China will be discussed by Professor Xi Lian of Duke University in an online presentation on February 1 at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. The event is being hosted by the Wende Museum in Culver City. Access is free, but places must be reserved via Eventbrite.

Lian’s most recent book is about Lin Zhao, a Christian dissident who, at the age of 36, was executed during the Cultural Revolution. In Blood Letters: The Untold Story of Lin Zhao, a Martyr in Mao's China (Basic Books, 2018), he told how Lin Zhao composed poems in her own blood while in captivity.

In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Lian noted that there had been many dissidents who had criticized Mao Zedong's authoritarianism while remaining loyal to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). "The only one who openly rejected CCP ideology as enslavement and tyranny was Lin Zhao," he said.

He recalled that, in her youth, Lin Zhao's enthusiasm for Mao had led her to disown her father, change her name and call the communist leader her father. "During the land reform movement, she supported revolutionary violence, which she later regretted very much," Lian added.

The professor spoke about Lin Zhao at Brigham Young University's Maxwell Institute in 2019. His remarks have been posted on YouTube.

Some of Lin Zhao’s manuscripts are being kept at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. In 2004, a a documentary was made about her.

On September 13, 2022, the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China held a hearing on China’s use of digital technology to control religious groups. "Unregistered Christian Churches, which are viewed as a potential vector for foreign influence, have also been the subject of intense surveillance and censorship too," Chris Meserole of Brookings Institution told the commission in his written testimony.

"Pastors have been told to remove themselves from WeChat groups, while other clergy suspected of having ties to foreign churches have had their social media accounts and digital content banned," Meserole said.

On December 14, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom held a hearing on the lack of religious freedom in China.

A video of the hearing has been posted online. A transcript of the hearing can also be downloaded.

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