Religious Minorities in China

Religious Freedom Week: June 24, 2020

Pray for the freedom of the Church in China, and that the rights of all religious minorities would be respected.

Under the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese citizens have limited religious freedom.  Since 2013, religious persecution has intensified under a government campaign for the “sinicization” of religion—an effort to have religions conform to government-sanctioned interpretations of Chinese culture.  Muslims have suffered grievous human rights abuses.  Since 2017, 800,000 to possibly two million ethnic Uighur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Hui Muslims have been arbitrarily detained in mass internment camps.  Other religions are impacted by the government’s “sinicization” campaign including the estimated 12 million Catholics in China.  While the Vatican has reached a provisional agreement with China on the issue of episcopal appointments, reports of persecution by the Chinese government persist as underground churches are closed and their priests detained, crosses destroyed, bibles confiscated, and children under 18 forbidden from attending Mass and receiving religious instruction. Ultimately time will tell if the faithful will be allowed to practice their religion independent of State control.

Solidarity with people of faith in other countries begins with learning about their struggles.  Stay informed by signing up for the USCCB’s religious liberty newsletter, First Freedom News.

Learn more about "sinicization" and religious freedom in China.

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