(Minghui.org) On International Religious Freedom Day, October 27, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo issued a press release reiterating the United States’ support for religious freedom and criticizing religious persecution by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Pompeo’s statement is important to counter the CCP, which has intensified its religious eradication and persecution policies recently, especially against Christians, Catholics, and Falun Gong practitioners. 

Recently, the Chinese communist regime further ordered people from the officially controlled churches and religious groups to closely “follow the Party’s direction.”

The China Aid Association reported on October 11 that even the China Christian Council and the Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee are now tightly controlled by the CCP and can no longer sell religious books. 

The authorities also modified the Chinese version of the Bible, and replaced certain words with the initials of Chinese pinyin syllables. For instance, the word “Christ” has been either erased or replaced by “JD,” with J and D being initials of the Chinese pinyin Ji Du (Christ in Chinese). Similarly, “Jesus” (Chinese pinyin Ye Su) is replaced by “YS” and “Bible” replaced by “SJTU.” Words such as “God” and “Lord” are obscured by icons or color block.

The communist regime has taken the Bible down from online bookstores since March 2018. It has also blocked “religious music,” including Beethoven's “Ode to Joy,” in music teaching and warned teachers that they will be personally responsible for any violation. 

Though the CCP is now in active contact with the Vatican, it is not loosening its control over Catholics, either.

In Linzhou City, Henan Province alone, authorities demolished over 90 houses of worship and re-purposed over 100 as senior centers, natural gas line maintenance offices, volunteer service centers, and so on. This includes structures there were built in the Tang Dynasty (over 1,000 years ago).

Christians, Catholics, and Buddhists are not the only groups targeted by the CCP, which has also been persecuting Falun Gong practitioners since July 1999. 

One tactic the CCP uses to persecute Falun Gong includes propaganda and brainwashing. The CCP issued secret documents to provincial party committees and propaganda and education departments in May 2004, requesting them to strengthen its propaganda and education emphasis on Marxist atheism. It launched a campaign to combat “feudal superstitions,” in which it ordered elementary and middle school students to sign an “anti-cult pledge” to condemn Falun Gong. In addition, major news media and Internet companies were ordered to publish columns on atheism, while colleges and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) needed to promote “education on atheism.”

Now that 21 years have passed, the persecution of Falun Gong has only intensified. In recent months, the CCP has been holding a “Zero-Out” campaign in attempts to force every Falun Gong practitioners on its blacklist to renounce their faith. On October 9, a section chief of the Shandong Provincial Justice Department called Falun Gong practitioner Chen Guangchang, a lawyer, claiming that only when he renounced his faith in Falun Gong would he be allowed to obtain a lawyer's license to practice law.

The authorities also threatened Falun Gong practitioners’ family members with job termination or expulsion from school. 

Starting this year, the CCP used the excuse of the coronavirus pandemic to investigate people’s beliefs and monitor religious activities. It has even introduced a “certificate of non-belief,” making it a prerequisite for anyone to apply for government jobs. It requires party members to fill out a “pledge of non-belief by Communist Party members” to prove they are atheists.

The World Is Concerned About Religious Freedom in China

Human rights reports, from the United Nations, the U.S. Department of State, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch, have all reported on China’s violations of religious freedom. 

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) stated in its 2019 Annual Report (the most recent report), “Observers have described religious persecution in China over the last year to be of an intensity not seen since the Cultural Revolution.”

Freedom House, in its Freedom in the World 2020 report, scored China 10 out of 100 and designated it as a “not free” country.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) 2020 annual report, for the 21st time, designated China as a “Country of Particular Concern (CPC).”

However, the CCP has, for years, denied the allegations of its large-scale torture and killing of Falun Gong practitioners and rejected the international community's criticism of its human rights violations.

U.S.-led Alliance Is Defending Religious Freedom

In his statement on October 27, Secretary Pompeo pointed out that since the launch of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance (IRFBA) in February 2020, “31 nations have pledged their commitment to this like-minded network dedicated to addressing challenges around the world.” 

“Religious freedom and other themes of human dignity are – and will always remain – a core U.S. foreign policy priority,” he added.

During an interview with ShareAmerica on October 22, U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback said, “Chinese authorities have subjected prisoners of conscience, including Falun Gong, Uyghurs, Tibetan Buddhists and underground Christians, to forcible organ harvesting. This should shock everyone’s conscience.”

“We say to China: Do not be mistaken; you will not win your war on faith,” he stated.

We know that given its anti-humanity and anti-nature nature, the CCP will never offer Chinese people freedom. The only way for Chinese to be truly free is to disintegrate the CCP.

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