“Liao's coverage of Christians allows truth to shine in the darkness. That's the beauty of his writings.” —Liu Xiaobo, winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize
Chinese dissident author Liao Yiwu—the once lauded, later imprisoned, and now celebrated author of The Corpse Walker—profiles the extraordinary lives of dozens of Chinese Christians, providing a rare glimpse into the burgeoning underground world of belief that is taking hold within the officially atheistic state of Communist China. A luminous writer, and not a Christian himself, Yiwu offers a uniquely objective and insightful perspective on the position Christians occupy in mainland China, in a book that readers of Philip Jenkins’ The Lost History of Christianity as well as Peter Hessler’s Country Driving will not want to miss.
When journalist Liao Yiwu first stumbled upon a vibrant Christian community in the officially secular China, he knew little about Christianity. In fact, he'd been taught that religion was evil, and that those who believed in it were deluded, cultists, or imperialist spies. But as a writer whose work has been banned in China and has even landed him in jail, Liao felt a kinship with Chinese Christians in their unwavering commitment to the freedom of expression and to finding meaning in a tumultuous society.
Unwilling to let his nation lose memory of its past or deny its present, Liao set out to document the untold stories of brave believers whose totalitarian government could not break their faith in God, including:
The over-100-year-old nun who persevered in spite of beatings, famine, and decades of physical labor, and still fights for the rightful return of church land seized by the government
The surgeon who gave up a lucrative Communist hospital administrator position to treat villagers for free in the remote, mountainous regions of southwestern China
The Protestant minister, now memorialized in London's Westminster Abbey, who was executed during the Cultural Revolution as "an incorrigible counterrevolutionary"
This ultimately triumphant tale of a vibrant church thriving against all odds serves as both a powerful conversation about politics and spirituality and a moving tribute to China's valiant shepherds of faith, who prove that a totalitarian government cannot control what is in people's hearts.