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Sens. Cruz, Perdue and Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Religious Persecution of Religious Minorities in China

‘The Chinese Communist Party is persecuting millions of its own people because it fears religion’

October 5, 2018

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and 15 of his Senate colleagues in introducing a bipartisan resolution which condemns the Communist Party of China’s persecution of religious minorities and its efforts to restrict free expression and practice of faith in China. Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are cosponsors.

“The Chinese Communist Party is persecuting millions of its own people because it fears religion,” Sen. Cruz said. “It cannot abide an authority higher than the Party. Christians, Uighurs, Falun Gong practitioners, and many others live under threat of imprisonment, torture, and death. America must always stand for the free exercise of religion and I am proud to join Sen. Perdue and my colleagues in this effort.”

“The Chinese Communist Party continues to engage in a violent crackdown on religion, employing tactics reminiscent of Mao’s Cultural Revolution,” said Senator Perdue. “From burning Bibles and demolishing Christian churches to the mass internment of hundreds of thousands of Uighur Muslims, the Chinese government is inflicting terror on its own people. The United States must condemn these egregious human rights abuses. I urge my colleagues to work alongside President Trump and Secretary Pompeo to hold them accountable.”

“China has a miserable record on human rights and the United States should be a leading voice confronting them,” said Senator Baldwin. “We must send a clear message that China’s persecution of religious minorities and suppression of religious freedom is wrong.”

“The persecution of religious minorities anywhere must be condemned, and the perpetrators of abuses must be penalized. China has repeatedly violated fundamental human rights and disregarded religious liberties enshrined in its own Constitution, subjecting religious practitioners to surveillance, censorship, arbitrary detentions, and torture,” said Senator Blumenthal. “The United States is uniquely obligated to champion religious freedoms, and I will continue to work with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to condemn and hold accountable those responsible for grotesque human rights violations.”

“The Chinese Communist Party continues to demolish Christian churches, torture Falun Gong practitioners, and transfer entire Muslim communities into concentration camps,” said Senator Cotton. “Beijing must end its horrific repression of Chinese believers of all faiths.”

“The persecution of religious minorities at the hands of some Chinese government officials is wrong and must stop,” said Senator Grassley. “People, no matter where they live, should be able to freely express their religious beliefs. As we work with China on issues of trade and intellectual property, we need to also make fighting for religious liberty a central part of the United States’ relationship with China.” 

“Communist China must not be allowed to continue their campaign of persecution against men and women of all faiths,” said Senator Inhofe. “Sadly, the atrocities in Xinjiang province are just part of the story. In an attempt to maintain their grip on power, the government is censoring religious texts, forcing religious minorities into internment camps and forcing religious conversions. That’s unacceptable. President Trump has proven already that a tough approach against China, as we’ve seen with trade, gets results. I urge him to use the tools Congress has provided to take action against China’s ongoing abuses towards Christians, Muslims and all religious minorities.”

“The ability to practice one’s faith freely is one of our nation’s most sacred values and a universal human right,” said Senator Kaine. “I have heard from many Virginians who are concerned about the persecution of religious minority groups by the Chinese government, especially the Uyghur community and Falun Gong practitioners. This resolution reinforces the importance of religious freedom as a critical part of the relationship between the United States and China, as both nations work to find common ground to solve global challenges.”  

“Religious persecution can never be tolerated,” said Senator Rounds. “The Chinese Communist Party has a history of human rights' abuses against its own citizens. We must work together to put an end to this oppressive behavior.”

“Religious persecution is unacceptable—and should be condemned—in of its all forms. China must address their dismal human rights record and its brutal treatment of religious minorities, including Uighur Muslims and Christians,” said Senator Van Hollen. “I am glad the Senate came together, in a bipartisan manner, to speak out against China’s oppressive actions.”

The full text of the resolution is available here and additional details of the resolution are available below: 

  • strongly condemns the persecution of religious minorities in China and any actions that limit their free expression and practice of faith;
  • reaffirms the commitment of the US in promoting religious freedom and tolerance around the world and helping to provide protection and relief to religious minorities facing persecution and violence;
  • calls on China to uphold the Chinese Constitution in addition to the internationally recognized human right to freedom from religious persecution and to end all forms of violence and discrimination against religious minorities;
  • strongly condemns the use of re-education centers, internment camps, and concentration camps as punishment for religious practice and expression;
  • strongly condemns the restriction and censorship of religious materials like the Bible, the Quran, and any other religious articles or literature sacrosanct to religious practice or expression;
  • urges the President to take appropriate actions to promote religious freedom of religious minorities in the China using the powers provided to the President under the International Religious Freedom Act, the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act, and the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

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