On the evening of
The gang proceeded to ransack Cheng’s home. Cheng—a wealthy woman with ties to
At a kangaroo court, the prosecutor demanded that Cheng confess. She was outraged. “I have never done anything against the Chinese people and governments,” she declared.
Cheng was taken back to prison. It was the beginning of seven years of torture, illness, and endless efforts to make her confess. But Cheng resolved never to make a false confession. Although raised Buddhist, she had become a Christian as a teenager. During her years behind bars, she later wrote, “I was not afraid. I believed in a just and merciful God, and I thought he would lead me out of the abyss.”
As I note in my new book, The Good Life, Cheng’s captors were astounded at her ability to resist. Here she was, the poster child of the decadent capitalists; they were certain that someone who enjoyed her privileges would crumble once the material props of her old life were removed.
But the measure of Cheng’s life was not found in what she owned. During her suffering, one thing kept her sane: her belief in the truth. Through committing herself to the truth, she never lost her humanity—and she remained unaffected by the appalling changes in her circumstances.