GOD IS RED puts a human face on the battles staged by ordinary Chinese Christians against the officially secular state, as they effectively fight to practice their religion in a hostile environment. Liao began researching the church in China and learned about the thriving underground Christian movement. In villages impoverished by isolation and largely neglected by modernization, Liao stumbled upon a vibrant Christian community that had sprung from the work of western missionaries in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and was granted rare access for an outsider.
Liao presents a wide range of astonishing and unique characters that reveal the depth and breadth of this revolutionary movement. You will meet:
The Old Nun: Sister Zhang is over 100, orphaned at 3 and raised in a Catholic monatery run by missionaries, she helped run a church, monastery, and orphanage until the Communists closed the church in 1952 and "re-educated" her, but she survived and continued to protest until the government allowed her to reopen the church in the 1980s.
The Cancer Patient: Li Linshan was an impoverished tailor suffering from cancer without funds for treatment and close to suicide when he becomes a Christian through a healing service even though his cancer only worsens.
The Doctor: Dr. Sun was a promising Communist ER doctor who was promoted to hospital administrator only to gain enemies for his cost cutting and patient focus; his distress led him to become a Christian, which caused him to be fired and unemployable in the cities; eventually he found an outlet as an itinerant rural doctor treating patients for free and even performing surgeries in homes and barns until government officials discovered his charity work and shut him down.
While each story explores the rarely glimpsed world of contemporary Chinese Christianity, the pieces also capture the dark years of the Mao-era, when the claws of political persecution left no place untouched in China and when thousands of Christians, and numberless others besides, were tortured and murdered. Liao provides an unprecedented glimpse into a deeply human story of a complex, religious and political reality.