God Is Red: The Secret Story of How Christianity Survived and Flourished in Communist China

Liao Yiwu, trans. from the Chinese by Wenguang Huang. HarperOne, $25.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-207846-9
Liao (The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories) is a Chinese dissident and journalist whose essays and interviews (presented as dialogues) examine pockets of Christianity within 20th-century China and how they have grown. The spread of missionaries gave the church an effective voice across the land until the Cultural Revolution of Mao Zedong. Mostly anecdotal tales provide glimpses of worship in settings from the smallest villages to the house churches of modern Beijing. Most interesting is the growth of the state-sanctioned Three Self Patriot Churches (self-governance, self propagation and self-support). The author profiles a diverse group, from a parish priest and a doctor to several lay evangelists. In a land as vast as China, with its multitude of languages and ethnic minorities, the Communists were able to dominate a well-established Christian church during the Cultural Revolution. Once Mao died, the church started to slowly regain momentum. This book will appeal to those interested in the Chinese church since 1900. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/11/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
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