Unwavering Convictions: Gao Zhisheng’s Ten-Year Torture and Faith in China’s Future

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I have just completed this book, my first of Gao’s writings.  It is a definite read for those interested in human rights, religious freedom, and/or Christian persecution.  As a lawyer, and a Christian, Gao has dedicated his life to defending the rights of people in China.  Those actions landed him branded an enemy of the state.  That branding has put him in prison numerous times with countless bouts of torture. 

Although this book deals with the torture aspect of his imprisonments, it does not stop there.  This glimpse into Gao’s life covers almost all the aspects of his experiences. He talks briefly, but not into the gory details, of his physical torture.  However, he delves into the physical and spiritual aspects of the torture as well.

Through this book, the reader learns to what extent the Chinese government will go to silence dissidents. That extent is extremely far reaching.  Much like North Korea, the Chinese government won’t just go after the offending person. It will go after that person’s family, friends and coworkers.  This book details exactly how suffocating that oppression is when you are the one under China’s microscope.

Through his eyes and conversations, you also get a glimpse into the lives of his captors, his torturers, his family, and his community.  Most importantly, the reader gets a glimpse into how the minds of the Chinese have been distorted by the policies and practices of the Communist government.

This book not only gives you an understanding of the atrocities the Communist government commits, it gives you an understanding of how oppressive the government is to all of its citizens.  Even those that are not being imprisoned and persecuted against are facing insurmountable obstacles that transform their morality and their psyche.

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