By James McCaslin, ssc
A bamboo curtain came down around China when Communism took over in the early ‘50s. Missionaries were imprisoned or expelled. Native Chinese priests were executed, tortured and imprisoned. A pall of sadness settled over Christians who went into hiding like in the catacombs of Rome in the time of Nero. China was struggling to stand up and declare her independence before the world and the Church-so associated in some Chinese minds with excessive colonial powers in the past – suffered in the process. We wondered in fear what was happening to the four million Catholics especially during the excesses of the cultural revolution. Then after the death of Mao Zse Tung that bamboo curtain began to part a little. Christians emerged from the catacombs and we suddenly realized with joy that they were alive and well and that the terrible pruning had born much fruit.