RFI President Thomas Farr recently joined other prominent scholars and leaders in signing a letter to President Donald J. Trump expressing “serious concerns over the human rights violations and religious freedom abuses” in China.
As the letter makes clear, the Chinese government continues to develop and employ surveillance technology in an effort to monitor and control its citizens, enabling it to impose severe restrictions on religious communities there. These developments are especially alarming when considered alongside decades of China’s practices of interference, abuse, and imprisonment regarding its religious minorities.
These broad efforts to ‘sinicize’ all religious practice in China, from Islam to Christianity to Buddhism to Falun Gong, is directly inconsistent with international human rights and religious freedom norms, standards, and law. If unchallenged, these norms and standards will be eroded, threatening the lives and freedoms of millions more around the world who are subject to autocratic regimes.
The letter concludes by requesting that this administration “make international religious freedom a top priority in all areas of American foreign policy with respect to China.”