I used to know a guy who risked his life to escape from China. His brother tried first; the border guards caught him, threw him in prison for nine months, and beat him badly enough to screw up his back so he couldn't try again.
So this guy tried it. Escaping meant running through the woods being chased by guys with machineguns. He got to a cliff, and with no other option he jumped. It was so far down, the guards didn't bother following. He laid at the bottom for three days, then made his way to the coast and swam to Taiwan.* Once there, he lived in a 6 by 6 foot room for four years, studying to be a chef. With degree in hand, he moved to the U.S., got his citizenship, and worked the legal channels to get his entire family over, including his brother. Now he owns four restaurants.
He wasn't bragging about this; he told the story somewhat reluctantly, with another friend's prompting.
Another time I attended a speech by a visiting Chinese pastor. Assistant pastor, actually - the senior pastor was in prison for straying from government-approved doctrine. This guy had all sorts of stories of how they resisted their government's values to practice their own.
Maybe things have improved since my friend escaped. But it was just in the news that they are cracking down on unapproved Christians again.
If the U.S. government ever gets to be like China's, I hope to God someone in another country will help us resist it, too - just like France helped us two centuries ago.
* I am aware that the Taiwan mainland is a hundred miles offshore. However, there are a number of small Taiwanese islands a lot closer, such as Ma-tsu Tao.
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