2019 International Religious Freedom Report: China

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SECRETARY POMPEO:  Good morning, everyone.  It’s great to be with you all today.  I’m here one more time, proudly, to talk about freedom and free societies.  And while America is not a perfect nation by any means, we always strive towards that more perfect union, trying to improve.  We remain the greatest nation in the history of civilization.

One of the good things that we do in this administration is our dedication to the protection of religious freedom all around the world.  Last week, President Trump signed the first ever executive order that instructs the entire U.S. Government to prioritize religious freedom.

Here at the State Department, I’ve hosted the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom now twice.  We’ve launched the International Religious Freedom Alliance.  We’ve trained our Foreign Service officers to understand religious freedom issues much more deeply.

And today, I’m proud to release the 2019 International Religious Freedom Report.  There is no other nation that cares so deeply about religious freedom, that we gather accounts from all across the world – it’s an enormous, it’s a comprehensive accounting of this fundamental human right.

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And in China, state-sponsored repression against all religions continues to intensify.  The Chinese Communist Party is now ordering religious organizations to obey CCP leadership and infuse communist dogma into their teachings and practice of their faith.  The mass detentions of Uighurs in Xinjiang continues.  So does the repression of Tibetans and Buddhists and Falun Gong and Christians.

I commend the report released today to everyone.  Its very existence is evidence of our strong resolve to defend human dignity.

Ambassador Brownback, who is standing up here with me, will take questions from you after I wrap up my conversation with you all this morning.

Speaking of China, last week I was humbled and honored to meet with several survivors of the Chinese Communist Party’s massacre at Tiananmen Square that happened 31 years ago.

I also released a statement on China’s obscene attempts to take advantage of our domestic situation to press their political agenda, which I’m sure many of you saw.

There is no equivalence between our two forms of government.  We have the rule of law; China does not.  We have free speech and embrace peaceful protest.  They don’t.  We defend religious freedom; as I just noted, China continues its decades-long war on faith.

The contrast couldn’t be more clear:  During the best of times, China ruthlessly imposes communism.  And amidst the most difficult challenges the United States faces, we work to secure freedom for all.

Source: US State Department

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