China is not solving the terrorism problem by detaining Uighurs in internment camps in Xinjiang, it’s creating it, says the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.
Sam Brownback said he has received hundreds of communications from the families of detained Uighurs desperate to find out what was happening to their loved ones. The Muslim minority group has suffered persecution in China for decades, but recently the government intensified its oppression with the introduction of what it calls re-education camps. Kazakhs, Christians and other minority faiths are also held in the camps.
The Chinese government has also cracked down on Christianity in the country by closing unregistered churches and destroying Bibles.
Brownback asked: “Why is the Chinese government afraid of the Bible? Why does the Chinese Communist Party not trust the Chinese people to choose their own path with their own soul?”
He added: “China is at war with faith. It is a war they will not win.”
Despite the events of recent years, Brownback said he believed the Chinese people would soon enjoy religious freedom because China was ”on the wrong side of history” and a general shift around the world towards freedom. He pointed to Hong Kong as an example of somewhere that enjoyed religious freedom. Speaking at the March 8 Club Breakfast, he called on China to immediately release all religious prisoners.
Kansas Republican governor Brownback was sworn in as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom on February 1, 2018, with the remit to monitor persecution and discrimination on a global scale through the Office of International Religious Freedom (IRF).
Watch the full talk here