Prison House

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Liu Xiaobo's Story

Liu Xiaobo is a political activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner, dissident and thorn in the side of the Chinese government. He was present in Tiananmen Square and he has repeatedly called for political change. He helped write a manifesto for change, called Charter 08, calling for reform in China. As a result he is now in prison serving eleven years for 'subverting state power'. All his writings are considered subversive by the Chinese government and his name is censored meaning that most Chinese people have not heard or him. He has said:

'I hope therefore to be able to transcend my personal vicissitudes in understanding the development of the state and changes in society, to counter the hostility of the regime with the best of intentions, and defuse hate with love...'

Find out more from this BBC News story.

Some Questions:

  • What do you think a person has to do to be called a 'dissident'?
  • What other dissidents can you think of?
  • Why do you suppose some governments put dissidents in prison?
  • Do you think Christians can be dissidents and if so how?
  • What do you make of Liu Xia's hopes for her husband and what would you say to her?
Reflection: your thoughts on unjust imprisonment
© CTBI and MTAG 2012

Navigating the pathways

From here, you can travel as a visitor through a number of pathways through the various cell-spaces finding out what it is like to be an inmate here.

You can mix and match your journey through the different spaces depending on what you would most like to explore, study or do.

Yellow Blue Green Pink

Holding Cell

  • Welcome and warning
  • Guantanamo Bay

Solidarity through Scripture

  • Psalm 107, 142
  • Isaiah 42
  • Matthew 25
  • Acts 5,12,16
  • Hebrews 13


  • Images of imprisonment
  • Game – free the prisoner


  • Gift giving/Baggage
  • Dumping
  • Confession


Voices from and about imprisonment

Hope in time of darkness

  • Prayers
  • For those in prison, justice authorities, hostages, condemned


  • Websites for research
  • Amnesty

House arrest

  • Diary/blog
  • Review journal entries


  • Excerpt from Unreconciled?
  • News article about Liu Xiaobo

Finding a way to Freedom

Music - Songs, Hymns, Classical music


Films, books, CDs


  • Footsteps of Jesus
  • Passion of Jesus in John's gospel

Condemned cell

  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Fr Maximilian Kolbe

Room 101

  • Woza
  • Fr Kolbe
  • Brian Keenan
  • Andy McNab




Empty your rucksack, and fill it with what? Will you be able to leave?