“It is not the torture, but the cause which makes the martyr.” – St. Augustine
In reading Lian Xi’s Blood Letters: The Untold Story of Lin Zhao, A Martyr In Mao’s China, the aforementioned words of the great doctor of the Church raised the question for me: for what cause did Lin Zhao, the fervent Communist-turned-Freedom Fighter, die? She was thirty-three years old when she was tried in the Jing’an District People’s Court in Shanghai as a counter-revolutionary and enemy of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). She was executed three years later.
So, for what did Zhao die, and for what did she live? Though she was baptized and attended a Methodist school, this impetuous and zealous daughter of Nationalist parents took up the cause of the class struggle of the proletariat with gusto. She ran away from home and severed ties with her family to attend a CCP-propagandist school of journalism at age sixteen and became a steadfast worker for the Party as the lessons of her Christian schooling faded into the background.