Friday, September 30, 2011

A Heart for Freedom by Chai Ling

Cover: A Heart for Freedom

Title: A Heart for Freedom 
Author:  Chai Ling
Publisher: Tyndale

The dramatic and fascinating story of Chai Ling, commander-in-chief of the student protesters at Tiananmen Square and witness to the massacre of thousands of Chinese civilians. Risking imprisonment and possible death for her leadership role in the student democracy movement, she was on the run in China for ten months while being hunted by the authorities. She eventually escaped to the U.S., completed her education at Princeton and Harvard, found true love, and became a highly successful entrepreneur. But her desperate quest for freedom, purpose, and peace—which she had sought in turn through academic achievement, romantic love, political activism, and career success—was never satisfied until she had an unexpected encounter with a formerly forbidden faith. Her newfound passion for God led to her life’s greatest mission: Fighting for the lives and rights of young girls in China.

My take: Who can forget the dark days of Tiananmen Square as the students organized themselves in demonstrations to encourage continued economic reform and liberalization of China. The students requested democracy, increased funding for education, a more open government and information, among other requests already in place in democratic societies. The non-violent protests continued then escalated outside the gates of the square and then the government sent in tanks and weapons of war.  The students and intellectuals were then fired upon, leaving many dead and wounded.  The world watched in horror and fascination as the wall of communism cracked because a few brave students organized a simple protest. And one lone student bravely walked up to a line of tanks and stood. He would either die a violent death or history would be made that day. 

Chai Ling, a student at a university at the time, was one of the organizers of the protests. Once resolved, she spent the next ten months in hiding and eventually escaping the communist country to the United States where she has spent her time furthering her education, finding love and discovering God. Her story is moving and provides and inside look of history in the making. Amazing read.

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