02/05/2021, 13.47
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'Miss my son', a poem by Pastor Wang Yi, sentenced to nine years in prison

by Wang Zhicheng

Wang Yi is one of the leading figures of China’s Protestant Christianity. He wants full religious freedom, and for this reason he was convicted of “subversion against the power of the state”. His poetry is full of references to the Tang era.

Chengdu (AsiaNews) – After a year in prison and a few days before the in-camera trial that saw him sentenced to nine years in prison on 30 December 2019 for “subversion against the power of the state” and other crimes, Pastor Wang Yi wrote a poem for his son Shuya in which he expresses longing for his son, patient hope for an end to his prison term, and faith in the heavenly Father.

Wang Yi, a former pro-democracy activist at the time of the Tiananmen massacre, converted to Christianity and became pastor in the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu with a congregation of at least 500 faithful.

Although this Protestant Church was underground, its members openly practised their faith, posting sermons and studies online and evangelising in the streets of the city.

Before Wang Yi and some community members were arrested, they also ran a seminary for future pastors and a primary school for 40 children.

Wang Yi's letter to his community remains very important. He wrote it expecting to be arrested, a year before his sentence. In it, he says he was “filled with anger and disgust at the persecution of the Church by this Communist regime, at the wickedness of their depriving people of the freedoms of religion and of conscience.”

At the same time, he affirms that he is not trying to change China's social order, but claims the right to proclaim the Gospel.

Widely read his poem “Miss my son” says:

The peach blossom does not covet fruit

The East wind misunderstands 

how I miss my son.

If the lamb did not replace Isaac

How could one compare 

the biological with the Heavenly Father?

Yu Bing, a reporter with ChinaAid, disseminated the poem. “Pastor Wang wrote the poem, Miss my Son, based on the 90th poem in 100 Palace Poems by Wang Jian, a poet in the Tang Dynasty.”

The original poem is about some maids who work in the palace, who like flowers and hate the wind. Like Pastor Wang Yi, they too lost their freedom.

“Although as the earthly father of Shuya, Pastor Wang misses his son, he knows that because he and Shuya have the same Heavenly Father, they share the hope they will be together forever in Heaven.”

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