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China Counters State Department ‘Religious Freedom Report’

June 11, 2020 (EIRNS)—The State Department on June 10 released its “Religious Freedom Report” to target all those countries that oppress religious freedom, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leading the charge. The top three on the list are Nicaragua, Nigeria, and (guess who?) China. Pompeo crows,

“And in China state-sponsored repression against all religions continues to intensify. The Chinese Communist Party is now ordering religious organizations to obey CCP leadership and infuse communist dogma into their teachings and practice of their faith. The mass detentions of Uighurs in Xinjiang continues. So does the repression of Tibetans and Buddhists and Falun Gong and Christians.”

The Chinese Foreign Ministry rebuffed Foggy Bottom on June 11 with some statistics. Speaking at the daily briefing, Information Department Director Hua Chunying said,

“The Chinese government protects our citizens’ freedom of religious belief in accordance with law. In China there are nearly 200 million religious believers, more than 380,000 clerical personnel, approximately 5,500 religious groups and more than 140,000 places of worship registered for religious activities. People of all ethnic groups enjoy full freedom of religious belief. The facts are there for all to see.”

She then returned Pompeo’s fire:

“By contrast, ethnic minorities in the U.S. find themselves in a worrisome situation with regard to religion. The U.S. has a long-standing problem of systemic racism. According to poll results released by Gallup and Pew Research Center, 75% of Muslims in the U.S. believe they are under severe discrimination due to their religion. According to the publicly available data I’ve seen, the number of mosques in the U.S. nationwide is less than a tenth of that in Xinjiang. There are mass protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death [on May 25], which in itself reveals deep-rooted problems. Instead of reflecting on it, the U.S. still points the finger at China. Why on earth does it feel so entitled to do so?”

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