In 1989, Fang Zheng's legs were crushed by a tank when he pushed a student out of its path.
USA (MNN) ― Yesterday, an Olympian qualifier was honored as he stood on new legs for China's freedom, reports ChinaAid. Honored athlete Fang Zheng uses his story to expose the truth of rights abuses in China, dovetailing with ChinaAid's mission to serve as a voice for the persecuted Church in China.
Star collegiate sprinter Fang Zheng qualified to compete for China in the Olympics but never made it to the Games. On June 4, 1989, he pushed a fellow Tiananmen student out of the way of an oncoming tank. Zhang's Olympic dreams were soon crushed as the tank rolled over his legs and severed them from his body.
When Zhang refused to stop competing despite the loss of his legs, the Chinese government feared his national athletic status would reveal them to be at fault for his injuries. They pressured Zhang to lie about his injuries, but he refused. The government refused Zhang his degree from the Beijing College of Physical Science and vehemently warned him not to speak with foreign media.
Three years after the famous Tiananmen Square riots, Zhang broke Asian records in both discus and javelin events in the All-China Disabled Athletic Games. Despite amazing progress three years after losing his legs, Zhang was barred from all future competition and denied job opportunities.
The harassment and pressure continued until he was miraculously granted a visa to the United States. Earlier this year, Zhang met with ChinaAid employees, human rights activists, and U.S. Congressmen. A medical corporation agreed to donate new legs to Zhang; he was honored in a celebratory ceremony in the U.S. Capitol. Members of U.S. Congress were in attendance, as well as honored guests concerned with China's human rights and freedom.
ChinaAid's President Bob Fu recently addressed the abuse of human rights and Church persecution in China as the Communist Party celebrated its 60th year of power.
"While I, too, celebrate the history and traditions of China," Fu said, "I cannot forget the pain and suffering inflicted upon persons of faith in these 60 years of communist rule in China."Read the entire statement by clicking here. Keep praying that the eyes of the world will be opened and the need for advancing religious liberty and human rights will be recognized.