By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) - The United States accused China's leadership on Wednesday of increasing repression of Christians and other minorities while forcing religious groups to adopt its communist ideology. In remarks obtained by Worthy News, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that "In China, state-sponsored repression against all religions continues to intensify."
The Chinese Communist Party, he added, "is now ordering religious organizations to obey CCP leadership. And infuse communist dogma into their teachings and practice of their faith." He stressed that "the mass detentions of Uighurs in Xinjiang continues. So does the repression of Tibetans and Buddhists and Falun Gong and Christians."
Pompeo spoke after the U.S. State Department presented its annual Report on International Religious Freedom. The report documenting incidents in 2019 highlights the "re-education," and alleged abuse and torture of more than one million Uyghurs, ethnic Kazaks, Hui, Uyghur Christians, and members of the Falun Gong group.
It was published amid what Chinese Christians view as a broader crackdown on house churches, the removal of crosses across China, and detentions of believers. The report also expressed concern about the situation in Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau and devoted an entire section to covering the
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwestern China.
In a reaction, U.S.-based advocacy group International Christian Concern (ICC) called the "2019 report's section on religious persecution in China considerably longer, more involved, and more detailed" than in previous years. "This is, no doubt, due to greater knowledge regarding the Chinese government's implementation of its five-year plan to "Sinicize" the state-sanctioned religions."
Unlike in 2018, the report devoted a majority of its China section to notorious prison camps in Xinjiang and the alleged abuses thereof Uyghurs and other religious groups.
The 2019 report also mentioned alleged anti-religious actions taken by Chinese police in quelling the recent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Police were reportedly involved in defacing of a mosque and the pepper-spraying of protestors supporting the victims of religious persecution in Xinjiang.
The report said Christian protestors received anonymous messages threatening physical violence or had their personal information posted publicly online. However, the report cautioned that it was often difficult to separate whether a specific incident is based on the victim's religious identity or loyalty to a democratic Hong Kong.
However, Pompeo stressed that the report's "very existence is evidence of our strong resolve to defend human dignity." He condemned China for suggesting that America must first deal with the recent killing of black American George Floyd in police custody and protests, before criticizing other nations.
Pompeo spoke of "China's obscene attempts to take advantage of our domestic situation to press their political agenda." He added: "There is no equivalence between our two forms of government. We have the rule of law; China does not. We have free speech and embrace peaceful protest. They don't. We defend religious freedom; as I just noted, China continues its decades-long war on faith."