Christian Who Was Imprisoned in Chinese “Re-education” Camps Is Now in the US With His Family

WASHINGTON (BP) – A Christian who was imprisoned for 10 months in western China is now in the United States as a witness to the notorious “re-education” camps being operated by the Communist regime of the world’s most populous country.

Ovalbek Turdakun, his wife and son arrived in the United States April 8 after a lengthy, successful effort to avoid deportation back to China that was aided by allies in the United States and other countries. Ovalbek is the first Christian to speak out about his detention in the camps in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, according to Axios, a news website that first reported on his arrival April 12.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has primarily targeted the Uyghurs, a primarily Muslim group in Xinjiang, in a genocidal campaign, but other ethnic groups also have been included in its suppression. The CCP’s tactics have included widespread detention in “re-education” camps, forced labor and a coercive population control program of abortion and sterilization. The State Department under both Presidents Trump and Biden has determined China is guilty of genocide in Xinjiang.

Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention’s 2021 meeting resoundingly adopted a resolution that condemned the CCP’s oppression of the Uyghurs and called for the U.S. government to take “concrete actions” to end the genocide. The SBC reportedly became the first Christian faith group to denounce China’s campaign against the Uyghurs as genocide.

In a Washington, D.C., news conference Wednesday (April 13), Ovalbek described a 10-month detention by the Chinese government that included torture and forced injections. He was under house arrest for another eight months after his release from the camp in December 2018. An ethnic Kyrgyz, Ovalbek and his family walked across the border into Kyrgyzstan in December 2019 and eventually received aid in reaching the United States.

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Source: Baptist Press