As U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to travel to China in early November he should include in his daily tweets the hashtags of #FreeReligiousPrisoners and #ReligiousFreedom. Out of nearly 1.4 billion citizens of China, untold numbers are victims of the Chinese government’s relentless drive for control over religious beliefs, activities, and advocacy.
In mid-October, China’s 19th Party Congress met and confirmed President Xi Jinping’s dominance and increased control over all aspects of Chinese life. As expected as it was, this bodes very badly for the millions in China seeking greater freedom of religion or belief.
As part of its brutal campaign, China seeks to erase the Tibetan and Uyghur cultures and their respective religions through “sinicization” — the government’s bid to conform religion to its own image. Seeking stability and control, its repressive actions have caused suffering and despair among Tibetan Buddhists and Uyghur Muslims, as well as other religious and ethnic communities.[Source]