(MNN) — June 4, 2009 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen
Square massacre, when the Chinese military killed an estimated
2,000-3,000 peaceful demonstrators.
"20 years ago, hundreds of Chinese peaceful protesters,
students and citizens in Beijing,
were massacred by the Chinese military for their peaceful protest for
anti-corruption, democracy, and human rights," said Bob Fu, president of China
Although the Chinese government claimed that only 200-300
people died in the "June 4th Incident," the Chinese Red Cross
estimated that about 2,000-3,000 people actually died. Many more people escaped from the country or
went to prison, and the government executed more than 10,000 people for their
involvement in the protests.
The result was widespread despair and disillusionment among
the leaders of the student movement, including Bob Fu.
"I was a junior in my college years in 1989," he explained. "And
of course I was very, very disappointed — shocked — when we learned that the
Chinese People's Army shot its own people… But during that time I came to the
Lord and was born again. So that's the
direct result of that bloody massacre."
The government investigated Fu for his role in the protests,
and eventually he managed to flee to the United
States, where he founded China Aid to promote religious
freedom and respect for human dignity in China.
Back in China,
the Tiananmen Square massacre resulted in a
revival of interest in the Christian faith.
"God brought redemption from that
tragedy," Fu explained. "After 1989,
the Gospel in China had
reached to many, many, many Chinese intellectuals: students, professors,
writers, lawyers… Hundreds of thousands of Chinese intellectuals came to know
Christ after the student movement. And even today, the revival continues
in the urban areas and the universities in China."
Today, every university in China has a Bible study group —
sometimes even hundreds of Bible study groups, Fu said. However, Chinese Christians still suffer from
"Pray for continued protection for those hundreds of
Christian pastors who are still in jail and labor camps and Chinese gulag," Fu requested. "So many churches are still
being raided, and some are still suffering from religious persecution; there are 100,000 political prisoners, too. So continue to pray for those prisoners, for their family members, and
for continuing spiritual revival in China."
Together with other former student leaders, Fu will testify
on the human rights situation in China at the Tom Lantos Human
Rights Commission in Congress on Tuesday afternoon. On Thursday, June 4, a special service at the
National Presbyterian Church in Washington,
D.C. will commemorate the
At the "Repentance, Reconciliation and Re-formation: Re-commissioned After
Twenty Years" prayer service, Chinese Christians and former leaders of the
student movement will reaffirm a manifesto they signed recently, calling for
truth, forgiveness, and restitution for the violent events in Tiananmen
"Prayer transcends history, politics and nationalities.
On the day of the 20th anniversary of the June 4th Massacre, this historic
international prayer gathering calls for repentance for apathy and silence before
injustice, for reconciliation and re-formation for a higher calling," Fu said.
The manifesto calls on Christians to repent of apathy toward
the massacre and seek the truth about what happened. It also calls on the Chinese government to
take responsibility for its actions, repent of the incident, compensate the
victims, and allow exiles to return to the country. Fu said that Christians should pray for the
political situation in China.
is really at a crossroads," he said. "They
can either…become a more hard-line dictatorship for a nation led by
atheists who worship the dragon, and become a threat to the peace of the
world, or have the choice to be encouraged to become a nation that worships
the Lamb and be a peacemaker to the world."
To learn more about Thursday's event, click here.