China ‘Gravest Threat’ To Future Of Religious Freedom, Says Mike Pompeo

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Jakarta: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that China is the “gravest threat” to the future of religious freedom.

Pompeo has launched several attacks on China during his ongoing tour of Asia covering India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Indonesia and Vietnam.

During his visit to Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, Pompeo brought up China’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority, reported AFP.

Addressing the Nahdlatul Ulama, a major Muslim organisation, Pompeo said, “The gravest threat to the future of religious freedom is the Chinese Communist party’s war against people of all faiths: Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners alike.”

“The atheist Chinese Communist party has tried to convince the world that its brutalization of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang is necessary as counter-terrorism or poverty alleviation,” Pompeo further said.

Describing China’s version of Uighur Muslims as “fantastic tales of happy Uighurs”, Pompeo said, “But we know that there is no counter-terrorism justification in forcing Uighur Muslims to eat pork during Ramadan, or destroying a Muslim cemetery.”

“There is no poverty-alleviation justification for forced sterilizations, or taking children away from their parents to be re-educated in state-run boarding schools,” he was quoted as saying.

“The Chinese Communist party has tried to convince Indonesians to look away from the torments your fellow Muslims are suffering… Search your hearts. Look at the facts,” he said.

“Think about what you know of how an authoritarian government treats those who resist its rule,” he said in his speech.

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