In different statements during the last few days, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, publicly criticized Beijing for its wide-ranged persecution of religious groups.
“It seems the Chinese government is at war with faith,” Ambassador Brownback said Friday, March 8, in Hong Kong, Washington Examiner reported.
“It is a war they will not win,” declared the former Kansas governor, who was nominated by President Donald Trump in July 2017 to the position of special U.S. diplomat for religious liberty.
Brownback criticized the Chinese Communist regime for its persecutions of Muslim Uighurs, Tibetan Buddhists, Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners, Channel News Asia reported.
“The Chinese Communist Party must hear the cries of its own people for religious freedom,” Brownback urged Beijing. “The Chinese people are a great people. Someday soon, they will be free to practice their faith. The gates of religious freedom will fly open in China, and the iron curtain of religious persecution will come down. The Chinese government is currently on the wrong side of history … but this will change.”
Brownback’s comments in Hong Kong prompted an upset response from the Chinese Communist Party, its ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement accusing the U.S. diplomat making “malicious attack and slander on China’s religious policies”.
Defending his statement, Brownback told reporters on Monday that his office has a long list of hundreds people who were missing and allegedly repressed for their belief, according to Channel News Asia.
“Where are they? What is happening to them? Why can’t their family members hear from them?” Brownback asked, challenging Beijing to give feedback on the individuals’ whereabouts.
Reiterating his statements in Hong Kong, Brownback once again called on the Chinese atheist regime to stop repressing religious groups in mainland China, during a press conference in Taipei on Monday.
“I don’t understand why in China, the government will view religion as a threat,” said Brownback, according to Taiwan News.
Brownback visited Taiwan to attend a two-day conference, which was titled A Civil Society Dialogue on Securing Religious Freedom in the Indo-Pacific Region, hosted by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) on Monday and Tuesday.
Brownback said that Taiwan can set a good example for China, as being a vibrant society where its citizens are free to believe and practice their religion.
Originated from one ancient culture, mainland China and Taiwan have become two contrast versions, regarding to religious freedom.
When the Chinese civil war ended in 1949, the Communist Party took over the mainland while Kuomintang (KMT)-led government of the Republic of China retreated to Taiwan. To preserve its atheist ruling in a traditionally religious country like China, the Communist Party conducted various anti-religious campaigns, starting in 1949 when the communists took over the authority.
The people’s faith flourished again in Chinese mainland during 1990s, with 70 million -100 million practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline of the Buddha School, based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. The religious revival was seen as a threat to the atheist regime, and then-Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin accused Falun Gong of being an “evil cult” and ordered a bloody persecution against the community in1999.
Since then, Chinese Falun Gong practitioners are considered as the main target of “systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from nonconsenting prisoners of conscience in the People’s Republic of China,” the concerns was expressed in the H.Res.343 by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Uighurs, Tibetans, and House Christians are also among those who have been victimized by the transplant abuse, according to the 2016 report “Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter: An Update” by David Kilgour, David Matas and Ethan Gutmann, all three Nobel Peace Prize nominees.
The treatment to Falun Gong practitioners is a vivid contrast between the Communist ruled mainland and democratic Taiwan, observers said.
Sarah Cook, senior research analyst for East Asia in Freedom House, made a statement to Congressional-Executive Commission on China in December 2012: “The CCP and Chinese officials typically assert that Falun Gong needed to banned because it is an “evil cult” that was having a nefarious influence on society. The claims have not held up to scrutiny when investigated in China, nor when one considers Falun Gong’s spread in other parts of the world, including democratic Taiwan.”