The release of an underground church leader reportedly jailed in China for his Christianity was among pleas at an interfaith roundtable U.S. Vice President Mike Pence attended on China’s religious rights abuses.
China should release Hu Shigen, held since 2015 on charges of subverting state power, religious freedom advocate Gary Bauer urged at the meeting, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said. Reportedly, Hu’s baptism photo was used to convict him.
Bauer advocated for Hu at an interfaith discussion Pence attended with members of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable Monday (Aug. 5). Among other Christians attending the meeting were Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore, ChinaAid President Bob Fu, Open Doors USA President David Curry, 21 Wilberforce President Randel Everett and U.S. Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback.
“China’s persecution of Christian house churches is a stain on its international reputation,” said Bauer, a USCIRF commissioner. “China may strive to be a leading economic power, but the world cannot forget the government’s deplorable treatment of religious believers and peaceful advocates within its borders.”
Attendees discussed ways the U.S. might hold China accountable for its religious freedom violations, which include a systematic crackdown on Christianity and other faiths, and the detention of as many as 2 million Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other Muslims.
Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), said China should invite Brownback and USCIRF commissioners to visit China for a first-hand survey of human rights, ChinaAid reported, particularly Tibet and Xinjiang where abuses are considered more severe.
“Grateful for a productive meeting with Vice President Mike Pence and our @ERLC-led multi-faith coalition combatting the Chinese persecution of Christians, Uyghur Muslims, Buddhists, and others,” Moore tweeted after the event.
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Source: Baptist Press