USCIRF labels China as ‘Country of Particular Concern’ for 22nd consecutive year

According to the newest annual report published by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on April 21, 2021, the religious freedom conditions in China continued to deteriorate.

“Although the CCP has long repressed religious freedom, in recent years it has become increasingly hostile toward religion, resulting in campaigns to “sinicize” Islam, Tibetan Buddhism, and Christianity to rid the religions of alleged “foreign” influences. These policies require religious groups to support CCP rule and its overall objectives and interests, including by altering their teachings to conform to CCP ideology and adopting architectural and other changes to their sites and symbols. Both registered and unregistered religious groups and individuals who run afoul of the CCP face harassment, detention, arrest, and imprisonment,” said the report, according to Minghui.

It found that “thousands of Falun Gong practitioners were harassed and arrested during 2020 for practicing their faith, and some likely died due to abuse and torture while in custody. Credible international reports also suggested that organ harvesting, including from Falun Gong practitioners, likely continued.”

The report listed China as a “Country of Particular Concern” (CPC) for 22 consecutive years for “engaging in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom,” as defined by the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA).

It also urged the U.S. government to “enforce to the fullest extent existing U.S. laws … and continue to impose targeted financial and visa sanctions on Chinese government agencies and officials responsible for severe violations of religious freedom.”

Domestically in the U.S., the USCIRF report noted that the U.S. government should also “continue and intensify efforts to counter Chinese government influence operations in the United States—including the Confucius Institutes—that suppress information or advocacy regarding religious freedom violations in China.” And the Congress should “support legislation to promote religious freedom in China.”

The USCIRF Commissioner Gary L. Bauer said that the Chinese people have many of their basic human rights deprived by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including the right to seek and worship God.

He calls on the American public to take immediate actions against the CCP’s threats to humanity. “I appeal to my fellow citizens to act now, individually. To U.S. corporate CEOs, stop putting your desire for greater profits in China ahead of the interests and values of our country. To the presidents of our great universities, stop accepting Chinese Communist money that will inevitably threaten academic freedom. To American consumers, don’t buy products made by suffering workers in Communist China’s slave labor camps and factories. You are subsidizing their persecution and strengthening an adversary of our country.” he said.

“The United States has faced and defeated great threats to human liberty before, including Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The Communist Chinese don’t think we have the same courage today. They will be proven wrong, but only if each of us stands for American values,” he added.