Politics

US Ambassador: Chinese Regime Biggest Oppressor of Religious Freedom

FORT WASHINGTON, Md.—The U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom said the current administration is fighting for freedom of belief like no other has before, while emphasizing that the Chinese communist regime is at the forefront of religious oppression.

The highest levels of government, including President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have sought to push the issue to the forefront, ambassador Sam Brownback said in a panel discussion, adding that they see it as as a fundamental human right.

“What the Trump administration is doing is really defending this right in a multiple set of ways and doing it more than any administration has previously,” he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Feb. 27. “We consider this a God-given human right—not one thats given by government.”

Brownback, who has served as ambassador since February 2018, said that “80 percent of the worlds population is in a country that has religious persecution,” adding that China is “probably the best in the world” at oppressing religious beliefs.

“Chinas at war with faith right now. China is using high-tech technology now, artificial intelligence systems to really do religious oppression,” he said.

“The future of oppression is youre going to be marginalized in the society,” Brownback continued. “People are going to have your face and theyre going to know your DNA, theyre going to know who you are.”

Such systems are already being modeled and worked on in China today. Last year, the regime introduced mandatory facial scans for people seeking to open a new phone account. Brownback said the United States is “very concerned that these systems are going to spread,” and it is one of the reasons Congress is acting to limit technology sharing between America and China.

“That area of oppression, that growth of oppression, and that nature is one of the most fearful things that I see coming into this space,” he said.

“This [religious freedom] is starting to get pushed more on Capitol Hill too … Its really starting to gather more steam, its just this fundamental human right and youve got to get it right.”

The panel discussion “Without Religious Freedom, Whats Left?” was held on the second day of the annual conference. Other panelists included journalist Asra Nomani of the Pearl Project, Todd Starnes of The Todd Starnes Show, and Sander Gerber of Hudson Bay Capital. It was moderated by Jan Jekielek, a senior editor with The Epoch Times and host of the show “American Thought Leaders.”

U.S. officials have warned about the risks of using Chinas Huawei Technologies for 5G infrastructures and have urged European countries to think carefully about the security and economic implications.

Brownback said they recently launched an International Religious Freedom Alliance group with 27 other nations to advocate on this issue. He brought up how Trump was the first president to place tariffs on a NATO ally, referring to how Trump pushed to get Pastor Andrew Brunson released from a Turkish prison. Brunson, a Christian pastor from North Carolina, had been charged with unsubstantiated terrorism offenses by Turkey and jailed since 2016.

Trump had repeatedly called for the release of Brunson, calling the detainment a “total disgrace.” Trump had called for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to free him and added a doubling of duties on aluminum and steelRead More – Source