In a special briefing for the Ministers’ Forum of the International Religious Freedom of Belief Alliance (IRF Alliance), on Nov. 17, Ambassador Sam Brownback renewed his call for Beijing to end its “war on faith”; and specifically called out China’s use of technology in persecuting religious groups.
The IRF members, representing 31 nations, admonished in a joint statement [the]unlawful employment of technology to monitor the actions of individuals solely due to their religion or belief and repress entire religious communities
“[T]his is something they’ve done in Tibet, they are doing in Xinjiang, and rolling out in different places in their country. And we want to stop this from spreading to other countries around the world or spreading more to other countries around the world,” said Ambassador Brownback.
“I think in particular what China is doing is absolutely wrong. It’s one of the worst religious persecution situations in the world today, if not the worst,” said Brownback. In the interview he specifically called on, “on China to stop their war on faith … against the Uyghurs, against the Tibetan Buddhists, against the Christian house church, against the Catholic Church, [and] against Falun Gong.”
Even amidst the global pandemic, more than 1,000 people who practice Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, were arrested and harassed by the police in October alone, with 65 adherents sentenced to jail.
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Recognizing this threat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently expressed his concerns about China’s religious persecution on Twitter that the CCP, “…targets Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and Falun Gong devotees alike. The Party spares no one.”
In October last year, the U.S. Commerce Department blacklisted 28 Chinese police bureaus and companies, including surveillance equipment manufacturer Hikvision. Similar technology has been deployed across China and beyond to monitor dissidents and ordinary citizens.
Victims of communism
On Nov. 7, the 103rd anniversary of the infamous October Revolution in Russia (so named because it fell on Oct. 25 of the traditional Julian calendar in local use at the time), President Donald Trump commemorated the more than 100 million lives claimed by communist regimes in the 20th century, and pledged to stop the spread of the ideology worldwide.
In a presidential message on the National Day for the Victims of Communism, Trump condemned communism as an “oppressive ideology that, without fail, leaves in its wake misery, destruction, and death.”
The Trump administration has commemorated the date since 2017, the 100th anniversary of the communist takeover in Russia.
“While Marxism promises equality, peace, and happiness, in practice it results only in inequality, violence, and despair,” the statement reads.
Communism is responsible for 100 million deaths in the 20th century, according to The Black Book of Communism, with regimes in China, the Soviet Union, Cambodia, and North Korea among the chief killers.
“Over the last century, communist regimes from Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge to Ethiopia’s Derg have confirmed the soul-crushing oppression inherent in Karl Marx’s philosophy,” the presidential message said.
“As proud Americans who cherish the blessings of freedom and democracy, we promise to support the more than one billion people currently captive within communist regimes and denied their unalienable rights to life and liberty.”