Vice President Mike Pence met with an interfaith coalition of religious freedom advocates Monday that included Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore to discuss what the United States can do to hold China to account as it continues to persecute and abuse religious believers of all stripes.
At the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., Pence and other administration officials met for about an hour with about 10 to 15 advocates from various faith backgrounds assembled by the International Religious Freedom Roundtable.
Among the attendees was Moore, the head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; 21Wilberforce President Randel Everett; Bob Fu, head of the Christian persecution watchdog organization China Aid; David Curry, head of the international Christian persecution advocacy group Open Doors USA; and Greg Mitchell, co-chair of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable and longtime lobbyist for the Church of Scientology.
Joining Pence from the Trump administration was U.S. Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback and members of the National Security Council.
“There were a handful of leaders from the world dealing with religious liberty who voiced concern about the shocking rise of religious liberty violations in China in the last six years,” Curry, whose organization works in dozens of countries and produces an annual list of top 50 countries where Christians face the most persecution, told The Christian Post.
“We had people from different faith backgrounds but we joined together to give an in-depth briefing on the series of issues that are happening against Christians, Muslims, the Falun Gong and other religions that are being persecuted in China right now.”
Fu tweeted out his thanks to Pence for meeting with the coalition.
“The resolve and courage you & @realDonaldTrump have shown to tackle the [Communist Party of China] regime on trade and freedom related issues are unparalleled,” Fu tweeted Monday afternoon. “Thx 4 hearing us. Time 2 take actions.”
As China has consistently been labeled by the U.S. State Department as a “country of particular concern” for the past 20 years, Curry urged the administration to consider new sanctions related to the religious liberty violations.
Along with shutting down underground churches and imprisoning Christian believers, the Chinese communist government has displayed a strong animosity toward believers of all faiths.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith