Secretary of State Anthony Blinken released the State Department's much-anticipated annual Report on International Religious Freedom on Wednesday.
The 2020 report detailed the Chinese government's systematic persecution of an estimated 200 million religious believers, including Christians, Muslims and Buddhists.
"Religious freedom, like every human right, is universal. All people, everywhere, are entitled to it no matter where they live, what they believe, or what they don't believe. Religious freedom is co-equal with other human rights because human rights are indivisible. Religious freedom is not more or less important than the freedom to speak and assemble, to participate in the political life of one's country, to live free from torture or slavery, or any other human right. Indeed, they're all interdependent," Blinken told reporters, CBN News reports.
The State Department announced that the Chinese government continues to commit genocide and inhumane acts against Muslim Uyghurs, Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities in western China. "China broadly criminalizes religious expression and continues to commit crimes against humanity and genocide against Muslim Uyghurs and other religious and ethnic minority groups," Blinken asserted, according to the Washington Times.
The annual report detailed the Chinese government's systematic oppression of an estimated 200 million religious practitioners, including Christians, Muslims and Buddhists.
Daniel Nadel, the State Department official in charge of religious freedom, said that evidence of oppression involves testimonies from survivors of torture and Chinese government records. The study alerted that Xia Baolong, the current Beijing-appointed head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office who headed a 2014 campaign of oppression against churches in China's Zhejiang province, is destroying the prospects of religious freedom in the former British colony.
Iran, Burma, Russia, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, the latter of which, according to Blinken, is the only country in the world without a Christian church even though over a million Christians live there, are among the other worst criminals highlighted in this year's survey.
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John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.