More than one million Uighur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups forced into internment camps; Catholic clergy imprisoned; Tibetan Buddhists arrested; the Bible and Qurans re-written; Protestant churches demolished - these human rights abuses and many others have occurred as the People’s Republic of China strives to “sinicize” all religions and beliefs and ensure absolute submission to the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian control and ideology.
At a recent symposium in Rome hosted by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that nowhere in the world is religious freedom more fiercely under assault than in China:
“That’s because, as with all Communist regimes, the Chinese Communist Party deems itself the ultimate moral authority. An increasingly repressive CCP, frightened by its own lack of democratic legitimacy, works day and night to snuff out the lamp of freedom, especially religious freedom, on a horrifying scale.”
Secretary Pompeo spoke as the Vatican and Beijing are negotiating an extension of a controversial two-year agreement on the appointment of Catholic bishops in China.
Secretary Pompeo pointed to the Church’s power of moral witness and cited its role in inspiring those in central and eastern Europe who freed themselves from communism in the late twentieth century, as well as its challenge to Latin American authoritarianism that helped bring about democratic transitions.
“And in my own country, movements to end slavery in the 19th century and expand civil rights for African Americans in the 20th century were largely led by Christians of many denominations who appealed to our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage, as well as our core founding principles.”
Secretary Pompeo urged leaders of all faiths to speak out against the Chinese Communist Party’s attempt to eradicate religious freedom and bend all religious communities to the will of its totalitarian program. In China, “The very future of religious freedom,” said Secretary Pompeo, “depends upon these acts of moral witness.”