Sacrifice wealth and freedom for one’s beliefs
Jimmy Lai started out as a street vendor in China and, after fleeing to then free Hong Kong, he became a billionaire. Here he also became a Christian. After Communist China took control of Hong Kong, he began to work with the pro-democracy movement.
In retaliation, the Communists confiscated one of his companies after another. He has been the subject of bombings, car attacks and arrests. Recently, the pro-democracy newspaper he owned was shut down, his remaining assets were seized by the state, and he was sent to jail. You must read Christopher Bedford’s account of his story, titled Christopher Bedford, Modern day martyr: meet the self-taught billionaire who sacrifices everything for God. His commitment to freedom and democracy and his ability to sacrifice all he has for them stems from his faith. Here are some quotes from Jimmy Lai:
“Life in prison is the highlight of my life. I am completely at peace. . .
“The Communists”, he said Economic Strategy Institute President Clyde Berkowitz “thinks they can buy and / or intimidate everyone, create their own reality and write their own story. Effectively, they assume the role of God. They are sort of a religion or an anti-religion.
“They have the initiation into the feast as a kind of baptism. They have self-criticism as a kind of confession of sins, re-education as a kind of penance, and elevation to the rank of party heroes as a kind of holiness. And, of course, at least Mao [Zedong] has a kind of eternal life like a smiling photo in Tiananmen Square and like an embalmed corpse in a coffin in the square.
“But the party and its members have no soul. In fact, they are the walking dead, because the truth is not in them.
“Life,” he told the Napa Catholic Institute in an October interview, “Is more than bread; life has a bigger meaning. . . .
“If you believe in the Lord,” Lai told the Napa Institute, “if you believe that all suffering has a reason and that the Lord suffers with me, that will certainly define who I become, so I am at peace with it. . “
“I am what I am. I am what I believe. I cannot change it. And if I cannot change it, I must accept my fate with praise.”
At a time when even many conservatives, including many Christian conservatives, have renounced liberal democracy, and when many billionaires and big corporations bow down to the Chinese Communist Party, and when many politicians in our own liberal democracy who speak out against oppression pay homage to totalitarians who oppress their own people, it is uplifting and inspiring to follow Jimmy Lai’s example.
Now is not the time for conservatives and Christians to reject democracy and civil liberties when others around the world want them so badly.
Photo: Jimmy Lai, by Office of President Nancy Pelosi – https://twitter.com/SpeakerPelosi/status/1186780385121918976, public domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=98369563