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Advancing a peaceful transition to democracy in China through truth, understanding, citizen power, & cooperative action

Global Prayer for China, Its People and Its Leaders on the 25th Anniversary of the June 4 Tiananmen Massacre

The second global event organized by Citizen Power for China (akaInitiatives for China) in commemoration of the June 4 Tiananmen Massacre.

In Chinese history as well as in the world history, 1989 was an important year, and June 4th of that year an important day. The 1989 pro-democracy movement (hereafter referred to as the 89 Movement) and the massacre that the Chinese Communist regime committed onJune 4th (also known as the Tiananmen Massacre) represented two fundamentally different values and the two different paths for China to take. At that time, it was already quite clear which one was on the right side of history.

A quarter century has passed, the June 4 Incident seems to have become remote history. However, the dust is far from settled. The victims who shed their blood are still crying from their tombs for justice. China’s rulers are still holding the country hostage, rushing madly down the road they selected after the Tiananmen Massacre. The Chinese government still turns a deaf ear to the legitimate aspirations of the pro-democracy movement, refusing to accept the universal values of democracy and human rights as represented by the 89 Movement. Today, with the ongoing battle between the two paths represented by the 89 Movement and the Tiananmen Massacre, the Chinese government still owes the world an explanation of the incident. The tragedy that happened 25 years ago is a historical wound yet to heal, one that many Chinese still find hard to face without misgivings.

Regarding the June 4 Massacre, people will first think of those Tiananmen heroes who sacrificed their lives. We indeed should never forget them – they chose to “escape decadence more than to escape death” (Socrates’ quote). The moral courage they showed has been and will continue to be a source of inspiration in our battle against tyranny and in our effort to build a society based on freedom and justice.

The June 4 Massacre not only cost many lives, but was also a blow to the Chinese people as a whole. It caused widespread fear, which in turn led to indifference. People no longer feel compassion or a sense of righteousness. They are no longer interested in politics or concerned about their country’s future. Indifference to social justice provides a breeding ground for corruption of the society as a whole. People pretend to forget in their hurry to “look forward ” . However, “looking forward ” without collective memory or historical introspection is merely “looking for money”. People are desperately making money for decadence, and the so-called “elites” are living their corrupt lives without any political risk. With fear and cynicism come prevalent disasters in morality, human rights and the environment. Had the Chinese Communist Party not opted for the massacre but accepted the demands of the 89 Movement to implement gradual political reforms, these disasters could have been avoided. But the sad thing is that over a period of time, it is possible for an economy to grow at a rapid pace alongside such disasters. China ‘s ruling clique and their vassals have capitalized on the low costs for the officials and “capitalists” brought about by low human rights to foster crony capitalism. Today, this “modernized” but uncivilized regime continues to use violence, lies and corruption in exchange for the loyalty of the “elites” to maintain its authoritarian rule. All these have resulted in China’s current plight with its moral, human rights and environmental disasters.

Political brutality and corruption often go hand in hand with decadence, and the two often reinforce each other. For the latter, each of us might have played a role. All of us should ask ourselves some questions in earnest: In the past quarter century, should I or could I have done better? Should I have had more courage to stand up for conscience and social justice? In the coming days, is it possible to do better so that the blood of the Tiananmen heroes did not shed their blood in vain?

Important as the personal self-questioning is, it is even more important to make these personal self-questionings public, in order to transform the historical wound into a sign of collective societal salvation and then into the power of societal change. Today, let us join hands to support each other and promise loudly again: We will never look on indifferently! We will never forget, fear or fall! We will never give up!

These are the principles that Citizen Power for China put forward five years ago on the twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre. Today, on its twenty-fifth anniversary, we are here to reiterate these principles, to call on people of faith and conscience in the world to pray with your heart to support and uplift China.

On this day of June 4th, we pray for China. May China go from the darkness to light. May all the hardships China has suffered pave the way toward social salvation. We pray for the Chinese people. May every Chinese have dignity and freedom. May they see the light of hope in their pursuit of personal happiness. We also pray for China ‘s leaders. May they come to their senses and repent. May they, with tremendous power in their hands, do public good and promote righteousness. May all the good that politics can possibly bring come true in China. Let our prayer enter everyone’s heart, including those of the Chinese rulers. A gentle breath of a payer can generate enough power to shake a mountain.

For the participants’ use of this global prayer, Citizen Power for China/Initiatives for China humbly offers an inter-religious prayer (see attachment). For any religious organization, parliaments and non-governmental organization that is willing to support this event publicly, you are welcome to contact us. We will publish relevant information on a regular basis.

Please see the content of the prayer here: http://www.initiativesforchina.org/?page_id=1698

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