After escaping from China to the United States 22 years ago, Chai Ling, a top leader in the Tiananmen Square democracy movement, reassembled all the puzzle pieces of her life. She discovered something that had been hidden from her, the answer to perhaps her most difficult question: Where was God during the 1989 massacre at Tiananmen, where China's government killed an estimated 2,600 people (something it continues to deny)? Chai lived with this question until she gave her life to Christ. A pastor at Park Street Church in Boston baptized her on Easter Sunday 2010.
Not long after being baptized, Chai turned her attention to the daily loss of innocent life due to China's one-child policy and subsequent forced abortions. By some estimates, Chinese women have had 400 million abortions since 1979, when the government implemented the one-child policy.
Last year, Chai launched All Girls Allowed, a faith-based organization with the mission of ending the one-child policy and sex-selective abortion (gendercide), and supporting women pregnant with girls. Chai tells her story in her book, A Heart for Freedom: The Remarkable Journey of a Young Dissident, Her Daring Escape, and Her Quest to Free China's Daughters (Tyndale House). Christianity Today deputy managing editor Timothy C. Morgan interviewed Chai twice over the past year.
Most China experts see the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests through a political lens. But you don't. Why?
Before, when I was walking in darkness, I didn't understand the meaning. All I saw was the triumph of evil forces and injustice—China killing so many people and still getting away with it.
But now I'm seeing a different side of it. I see the country being transformed into a new nation. God used the massacre ...