It was 25 years ago today that protests in China came to a bloody end. What came to be known as the “Tiananmen Square protests of 1989” started in April when Communist Party General Secretary, Hu Yaobang died. He was a liberal reformer, and his passing sparked demonstrations and protests. At the height of the protests, about a million people assembled in the Square. They requested government accountability, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the restoration of workers' control over industry
The government tried a conciliatory stance at first, and protests spread to 400 cities by mid-May. But the government, led by Deng Xiaoping, got tired of talking and decided to use brutal force, sending in tanks and soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army. Of course, we don’t know exactly how many people were murdered by their own government, either in the actual fighting or later by being “disappeared,” but estimates range from a few hundred to several thousand. June 4th was the official, bloody, end.
Now, today, students are held in ignorance. According to the latest issue of National Review*, in history class, they might—might—be told about that 1989 affair,” or “the event that happened in the late ’80s of last century.” Many if not most students are never told any details about it at all, assuming their teachers even mention it. Every year, there are a few handful of protests in commemoration, but those protestors are quietly and immediately arrested, thus silenced. Every year, the numbers of those who participated in 1989 become fewer, and they’re understandably reluctant to share their stories with anyone.
But I couldn’t let this anniversary pass by without comment. To anyone who’ll has access to this and who’ll listen, I’ll proclaim this from this blog, adding my voice to a lot of other (much braver) ones:
This is not forgotten. The Chinese government desperately wants to pretend this never happened, and they’ll take any necessary measures to silence those who’d call us to remembrance, but what happened is not forgotten. The entire world might forget, but there is One who never will. He sees all. He knows all. He remembers all. The dissident who’s languishing in a prison cell, awaiting a final bullet, is known by him. . .by name. Each and every one. One day the books will be opened, and each one not covered by the blood of Christ will get exactly what he or she deserves.
To all my Chinese siblings in Christ, I want to let you know something as well. The One who notices when a sparrow falls sees what you’re going through. And one day, he will make all things right. You’re not forgotten by your Father, and you’re not forgotten by me. Just wanted you to know.
*Unfortunately, at this date the article isn’t available for free to the public, so I can't provide a link for it.