CHINA – China’s people of faith: Canaries in Xi Jinping’s coal mine

The Jerusalem Post | Leila Gilbert | MARCH 30, 2020

Call it COVID-19. Or novel coronavirus. Or the now-politically incorrect term “Chinese flu.” But thanks to the virus’s unrivaled global threat, all eyes are now fixed on China and its Communist administration. The world is watching how President Xi Jinping behaves, what he seeks, and what is hidden behind his regime’s fiercely protected public face.

In light of this scrutiny, it wasn’t helpful to Xi’s efforts at damage control when the US Commission on International Religious Freedom declared in an update on March 13 that China was using its persecuted Uighur Muslims as virtual slave laborers.“The Chinese government has compounded its mistreatment of Uighur and other Muslims by forcing them to work in factories…. We urge all American companies, including Amazon, Nike, Apple and Calvin Klein, to conduct a thorough investigation of their supply chains in China and cease any operations if they cannot definitively rule out the use of forced labor.”

At about the same time, a packed briefing took place in Washington, DC, exposing the Chinese government’s lockdown of millions of Uighurs in concentration camps. Experts presented meticulously documented evidence of “organ harvesting” – providing Uighur organs on demand for transplanted hearts, kidneys, livers and even matched sets of lungs.The Chinese Communist Party has been able to collectively mistreat Uighur Muslims with ease because many of them live in one region – the Xinjiang autonomous territory. And thanks to satellite images, the concentration camps constructed to house millions of Uighurs are visible from space.

Not so visible or well documented are the regime’s abuses of other religious groups.

Tibetan Buddhists have long endured harsh treatment. Their devotion to the Dalai Lama is perceived as disloyalty to the People’s Republic of China, verging on treason. In response, since 2009, 156 Tibetans have self-immolated in protest of China’s abuses.Chinese who practice Falun Gong spiritual exercises are subject to arrest, imprisonment and, according to numerous reports, summary execution – also for purposes of organ harvesting.

Even a community of less than 1,000 Jews in Kaifeng has been victimized by party authorities, who in 2018 stormed through a study center’s gates, tore loose and trashed a metal Star of David, and ripped Hebrew scriptural quotations off the walls. The authorities also put a stop to any foreign funding for the group.