Representatives from five religious groups affected by severe religious persecution, including a Christian, Yazidi, and Uyghur Muslim, identified the most pressing issues facing their communities and shared how the international community can help.
During the National Prayer Breakfast sideline event on religious persecution around the globe co-hosted by the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. and 21Wilberforce, moderator Naomi Kikoler, director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, interviewed five host representatives from communities affected by religious persecution.
The panel included Yasmin Ullah, president of Rohingya Human Rights Network; Nawaf Ashur, representing the Free Yazidi Foundation; Loay Mikhael, head of foreign relations for the Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council; Omer Kanat, executive director of the Uyghur Human Rights Project, and Bob Fu, the founder and president of China Aid.
Kikoler noted that much of the persecution facing groups around the world is the result of years of ignored warning signs. The obligation of world leaders today is to recognize these warning signs and “act before it’s too late,” she said.
The panelists then identified risks facing their individual communities right now.
Fu, a Christian, applauded the panel for bringing different religions together, emphasizing that “one faith community cannot fight this battle alone.”
He said that over the last two years, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “war on religion” has reached its “worst” in 40 years. He accused Xi of turning faith into a “tool for the indoctrination of Communist ideology.”
For example, all religious leaders must pledge to obey the Communist Party’s ideology in their pulpit before they can be allowed to practice their religion, Fu said. Additionally, millions of Chinese Christian children have been forced to renounce their faith by signing a Communist Party prepared document.
“Clearly the aim is to exterminate any independent faiths,” he said, referencing not only the Christian faith, but the faith of Muslims, Buddhists, and others.
“This is a very, very serious signal,” he said.
Fu also addressed the persecution experienced by members of China’s Early Rain Covenant Church, revealing that in addition to constant surveillance, at least 80 believers experienced “tremendous torture and trauma.”
“The camera recorded their false confession against their own pastor, Wang Yi, who was sentenced to nine years imprisonment,” he said. “After these false confessions, many were traumatized. They feel guilty of betraying the pastor. Some showed suicidal tendencies.”
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett