Christians and Ethnic Minorities Living a ‘Nightmare’ in China

Ethnic Uyghur and former political prisoner Rebiya Kadeer (standing second from right), who fled China in 2005 after serving six years in prison, was formally recognized when the Congressional-Executive Commission on China released its 2018 Annual Report Oct. 10. At the podium (from left) are U.S. Rep. Chris Smith and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, commission co-chair and chair, respectively. (YouTube video screengrab via BP)

Christians and ethnic minorities are living a “nightmare” in China under President Xi Jinping, a congressional commission report released Oct. 10 documents.

Jinping’s unmerciful program to “Sinicize” religion into a government-controlled framework, marginalize ethnic minorities including Uyghur Muslims, and redefine human rights intensified in 2018, making life a nightmare for civilians, U.S. Representative Chris Smith said in releasing the 2018 Annual Report of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

“If you don’t comport with the Communist Party principle about everything you do to the ideology of Xi Jinping, you are going to be arrested, you are going to be tortured, and in many cases you are going to be killed,” said Smith, co-chair of the commission.

“When Bibles are burned and Tibetan monks burned themselves in protests, when a simple prayer over a meal in public may be considered illegal religious gathering, when mosques and churches are demolished in Uyghur and Kazakh Muslims are forced to denounce their faith, the China dream is a nightmare for millions upon millions of Chinese citizens.”

Crackdown on religion
The 405-page report covering a one-year span ending in September documents “unprecedented repression of ethnic minorities” in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, “dramatic increases” in Communist Party control of government, society and business, and the increased use of technology as a repression tool.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, co-chair of the commission, said the crackdown on religion in particular, through the increased scope of the United Front Work Department in overseeing religious affairs, underscores “the party’s enduring fear that the growth of religious belief is a threat to its grip on power.”

A political prisoner database, political prisoners of particular concern and recommendations for the Trump administration and the United Nations are included in the report.

Former political prisoner and ethnic Uyghur Rebiya Kadeer, who fled China in 2005 after securing a “compassionate release” from prison, was among audience members Rubio and Smith said had been personally and tragically affected by China’s oppression.

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SOURCE: Baptist Standard; Baptist Press, Diana Chandler