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The ‘Future of Oppression’: A Sobering Look at China’s Treatment of the Uyghur People

Abbas explained that the Chinese government is attempting to exterminate the Uyghur population by preventing Uyghur women from having children. “What’s happening is genocide,” she said. The government is forcing women to have abortions, making them get IUDs, raping them, and giving them unknown medications that impede their mental functions and disrupt their menstrual cycles. 

Furthermore, the government is sending Chinese cadres to live with Uyghur families. The Chinese agents supervise the families and give them social credit scores. Sometimes the cadres are women, but it is not unusual for Chinese men to live with Uyghur women whose husbands have been sent to concentration camps. This leaves the women vulnerable to sexual abuse. In fact, having Chinese men impregnate or marry Uyghur women is one of the ways the government is controlling the population. “This is government-sponsored mass rape that is happening for the entire world to watch,” said Abbas. Yet even though these atrocities are known, many countries remain silent. And the reason why is simple: money.

“The world is muted as China buys, basically, the compliance of the business world,” said Abbas. “Where is the outcry from the feminists and people who are supposed to protect women’s rights?”

Moore agreed that China is counting on its power and its wealth to intimidate the rest of the world into staying silent and expressed that Christians have every reason to take what is happening to the Uyghur people to heart. He said, “We ought to be the people who recognize that there are things greater than power and money…the image of God and the humanity of our fellow human beings.”

He believes the CCP is depending on tribalism to prevent people from taking a stand against the regime. He said, “They’re really counting on Christians to say, well I’m not a Uyghur Muslim, so this is not my problem.”

Christians Should Care About the Uyghur People

But what can the average Christian do about this issue? Turkel first emphasized the importance of not politicizing what is happening. “There is a genocide taking place,” he said. “It is our moral obligation to stop it.” He encouraged Americans to call their representatives and voice their concerns about what is happening to the Uyghurs. 

Brownback said, “I’m a staunch believer in the power of prayer,” and also suggested church leaders could organize religious freedom roundtables. Abbas asked those listening not to remain silent, but to educate others about the situation and to help people understand their personal complicity in what is happening in China. 

Moore agreed that prayer is important and encouraged local congregations to participate in corporate prayer, mentioning the Uyghur Muslims by name. Believers should seek out those in their own communities who are invisible, intimidated, and bullied and stand with them. 

Moore also stressed the importance of continually speaking out about what is happening to the Uyghurs, comparing their situation to the oppression of the Jews at the hands of the Soviet Union. Action was taken because people like Pope John Paul II and Henry “Scoop” Jackson continually spoke up about that situation. “We have to do the same thing with the Uyghurs and others,” said Moore.

The panelists were unanimous in their opinion that every country and people group in the world will be vulnerable to the persecution the Uyghurs are experiencing if we do nothing to help them now. “It’s not just about religion or our ethnicity. It’s our humanity,” said Abbas. “This tragedy of the Uyghur people will be the future of the entire world if this…is not addressed and we do not take action.”

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Jessica is a content editor for ChurchLeaders.com and the producer of The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past five years. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys West Coast Swing dancing, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.