Is it true that Chiang Kai-shek was friendly toward Christians?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: I’m studying the history of China and have to write a paper about something that is not widely known about the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek’s exile. Is it true that he was friendly toward Christians? – C.S.
A: The powerful leadership of Chiang Kai-shek, the president of the Republic of China, united the nation for the first time in a century. He served as their great leader for 21 years.
The marriage of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his wife, Soong Mei-ling, one of the world’s most intelligent and beautiful women, was a storybook romance. She captivated the American people when, during World War II, she addressed a joint session of the United States Congress.
After years of battles that plagued the countries involved in a long war, Chiang Kai-shek was forced to leave his beloved mainland. He established a government in exile on the beautiful but poverty-stricken island of Taiwan and turned it into an economic and political stronghold. In 1952, while attending dinner with President and Madame Chiang Kai-shek, it was said that nearly the entire conversation centered on Christianity.
Years later, speaking at President Chiang Kai-shek’s memorial service there was some perspective on his personal Christian faith. Close friends had shared their many experiences with President Chiang, telling publicly of his profession of faith in Christ followed by his baptism in 1933. He erected a small brick chapel where Christian worship was observed every Sunday, something never publicized in the press.
When Christian missionaries fled the mainland to Taiwan, the president opened the door of the entire nation to them and as a result, Christian churches flourished. God uses men and women to do His work. “Pray… that God may open to us a door… to declare… Christ” (Colossians 4:3, ESV).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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