US religious freedom report focuses on growing restrictions in China by Samuel Smith for Christian Today
GNN Note – When it is state policy to “hunt” humans for their beliefs / thoughts, well, there should be a massive focus on this nation and what they are doing. As we recently reported on the newly minted policy of Hunting Christians for profit points out the government of China is now paying citizens a bounty to hunt Christians. This is not being discussed near enough in my opinion.
Persecution against believers in China was front and center as the US Commission on International Religious Freedom released its 20th annual report Monday morning.
With photographs on the cover showing demonstrations against China’s imprisonment of thousands of Uighur Muslims, the bipartisan and independent commission mandated by Congress unveiled its 226-page report highlighting about 30 countries where religious freedom rights are being egregiously violated.
As is the case in past years, the report divides countries into different tiers, with “Tier 1” recommendations representing countries that the Commission believes should be labeled by the US State Department as “countries of particular concern” (CPC). The CPC label carries with it the possibility that the countries could face sanctions or other negative consequences.
“Tier 2” identifies countries where religious freedom violations have happened but have not risen to the severity needed to be considered Tier 1.
USCIRF recommends that 16 countries be labeled as CPCs by the State Department, 10 of which were designated or redesignated as CPCs by the State Department last November.
The Tier 1 countries are: Burma, Central African Republic, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
“As has been said several times this morning, we have a Tier 1 and Tier 2 of the countries we look at,” USCIRF Commissioner and longtime social conservative activist Gary Bauer said during a rollout event on Capitol Hill attended by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
“If we were going to rank the Tier 1 countries, China would be in a category all by itself [with] the level of persecution. They are an equal opportunity persecutor.”
With the US and China on the cusp of a major trade deal, USCIRF’s report serves as one last call for U.S. officials to “integrate religious freedom and related human rights diplomacy” into the ongoing trade negotiations.