A Pentecost remembrance: The Tiananmen Square Massacre

The Rev. Doris Kung Chi Pui Dalton, an ordained United Methodist deacon, is a District Resource Assistant (DRA) for the Central District of the denomination’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. In the Central District e-newsletter she published Wednesday she called for prayerful remembrance of Chinese citizens who suffered government repression in the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 and who still suffer from the memory of that event.

As news reports today remind us, June 4 is the 25th anniversary of what many refer to as the Tiananmen Square Massacre. There have never been verifiable reports on the toll of deaths and casualties from that incident; and any mention of it is still repressed in China today.

Doris’ own words follow, both those she wrote in her newsletter and additional information she provided to EPA Conference Communications Director John Coleman upon request. She included helpful Web links in her own article for readers wanting more information about the Tiananmen Square protests and the aftermath today.

I want to share a place in the world that needs the Pentecost winds of change.  Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in China. You may remember hearing about the students and young people gathering in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, agitating for democracy, freedom, and protesting corruption in April-May, 1989.

The Chinese government finally responded in a devastating manner. The number of people who actually died that night is still unknown.

Today, many Chinese young adults living in China do not know what happened on June 4, 1989, because the government-sponsored history books and available news agencies are heavily censored. Witnesses, living dissidents and mourning parents are heavily guarded, imprisoned, or oppressedHouses of Christian worship in China are also facing difficulty.

The Chinese people desire the same things we desire: safe places to live with dignity and the freedom to worship and encounter God. This time of year is especially harsh in China, as the government takes extraordinary measures to suppress any information or activity to remember June 4.

Please lift up a prayer for the people of China, that the winds of Pentecost would blow through their lands, and fan the flame that continues to flicker.

Doris’ Additional comments:
I was born in the U.S.  My parents were born in China and moved here to attend seminary and do ministry. They actually returned to Hong Kong in 2000 to serve in ministry

When the students were protesting in late Spring 1989, I remember my father and mother pouring over the Chinese-language newspapers (printed in the States), and talking to other ex-pats in the Chinese church that they pastored.

When the news got out about what had happened in Tiananmen Square, my father was in deep mourning. He would hide in the bedroom and weep.  There was sadness that filled the house for the lives that were lost and the voices for freedom that had been silenced, as well as for the mother country that had responded to her young people with such violence.  I didn’t fully understand the magnitude that had happened, but I do clearly remember the impact it had on my parents (I was 13 at the time).