Communist China - enemy of Islam and Christianity?
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Communist China - enemy of Islam and Christianity?

Beijing : China | Dec 09, 2011 at 5:00 PM PST
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Who are the Uighurs?

It was International Human Rights Day 2011 yesterday (see http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/2011/ ) and yet it is a surprise that there has been no sign of outrage by international Muslims against China, with how it is treating its population of Muslims. It is a surprise that any country that calls itself a "Christian Country" is willing to support the current Chinese rulership, particularly with its persecutory attitude to what is apparently the fastest growing religion in the country.

Communist China is well known for its disgraceful treatment of Tibetan people, putting them in concentration camps and torturing and killing countless thousands. China is known for its organ harvesting from political prisoners, particularly Falun Gong practitioners - well just about anyone who disagrees with its ideas.

Yet China is not only utterly disregarding the human rights of these groups, its Communist leadership has been discovered to be destroying the culture of and persecuting Muslims and Christians (both Catholic and Protestant) within its land as well. This is despite the false front presented by its official Muslim and Christian organisations that are the architects of a pure shopfront of apparent tolerance. As long as people toe the official line and submit themselves to constant attempts to 're-educate' them out of their religious ways and into Chinese communist doctrine hey seem to be safe. These organisations, like the Islamic Association of China (IAC) and the China Christian Council (CCC), try to convince their compatriots in other countries that their religion is supported by the CCP regime, when in fact reports from those escaping China reveal that all religions are still actively repressed and their adherents brutalised in Chinese concentration camps if they 'step out of line'.

There are more than 8 million Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region of China, a former Muslim country called East Turkistan that China illegally invaded in 1949, and at least 12 million other Muslims elsewhere, yet China actively prevents them practising their religion. Pilgrimage to Mecca is strictly forbidden unless "official permission" is gained and passports are refused routinely. The State Administration for Religious Affairs earlier this year mandated new rules to "improve the management of Hajj work”, saying the Uighurs, and other Chinese Muslims, were only allowed to travel to Makkah if they go on trips organised by the state-controlled IAC. Many trips, officials have said, would include “patriotic education”. Officials from Xinjiang and other provinces will accompany the pilgrims and supervise the tour. According to a report in The Hindu newspaper, a Xinjiang official said individuals could not join the official Hajj trips unless they passed a health exam, were between 50 and 70 years of age and paid 22,000 yuan (almost 3,500 US dollars) from their personal funds. This is before the cost of the air fare and other expenses. One devout Muslim is reported as saying that the only way to get a passport is if you either work for the Chinese government or know someone who does.

Christianity is reported to be the most rapidly spreading religion in China and the sanitised surface is represented by the CCC, set up in October 1980, to "supervise churches in the area of faith and to promote patriotism for the nation and the Communist party". The reality is that the state has reacted with is usual form of Nazi-style repression, raiding new Christian congregations, imprisoning dissidents and preventing Christians building churches. Literally millions of evangelical Christians have refused to submit to government control. Estimates put the number of underground Christians at 40 million, with some claiming there are as many as 80 million. Shouwang church was founded in a flat in 1993 but now has 1,500 members. It claims to have been blocked from taking possession of a £2.5 million building it bought in 2009. Yet Christians are still managing to celebrate Christmas and other festivals underground. Some congregations meet for whole days at a time to worship. Most are young people who reject the communist ethos. Many have no Bibles. A US based Christian rights group believe that China is playing a dangerous game if it is pushing Christians into a corner. "One day it will blow", a spokesman for China Aid said. Catholics in China are not permitted to retain any link with the Vatican and many worship underground. China forced its Roman Catholics to cut ties with the Vatican in 1951, shortly after the officially atheist Communist Party took power.

With this internal melting pot starting to brew in China, the problems we always see in the news about the Middle East will be nothing. If Al Qaeda realises how Muslims are being treated, it is certain they will react. If Christian rights groups and organisations worldwide realise the devastating repression that China is bringing, there is likely to be massive protest in support of their fellows. Imagine if all the religions, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism unite against China. Perhaps finally the governing CCP leadership will realise that its time for democratic elections! Perhaps China will return the Uighurs' land to them and also Tibet to the Tibetans, just as Communist Russia returned Ukraine and Georgia to independence in the 1990s.

It has always been part of Communist philosophy that religions are not good and should be removed, no matter what Communist countries do to cover this message up. The reality is that human beings want freedom of choice in their religion. They want that fundamental human right to worship freely, and why shouldn't they? Who should be paying a government of any country simply to worship God in the way they choose? Who should have to face persecution and death in the face of religion? Surely this was something from medieval times? History has taught that any imperial power that suppresses people under its control is playing with fire. Conversely those who demand loyalty but permit freedom of belief have always thrived. Good examples were the Mauryan empire and the Roman empire. It will not be long before China's communist rulers finally fall and are prosecuted for their human rights abuses and genocide. Then China herself can attempt to achieve democracy.

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Uighurs have long complained of repression under Chinese rule
Uighurs have long complained of repression under Chinese rule
Torquil is based in London, England, United Kingdom, and is a Reporter for Allvoices.
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