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Why Christians should care deeply about human rights violations in China

December 9, 2022 by Global Christian Relief in Persecution updates

These men and women are among the 3,000 people “found” through a security breach in the detention centers of China’s Xinjiang Province. A BBC report on the leaked documents give us an up close look at the injustice. File after file reveal the whereabouts and images of missing Uyghurs, now imprisoned for their ethnicity and because they are Muslims.

Every day, real life human rights atrocities like these take place across China. As Christians who follow Jesus, we are called to a biblical response.

Human rights for all people

The majority of the 11 million Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province identify as Muslim, with over 1 million of those detained in camps. In these camps, although details are scarce, we know Muslims are forced to pledge loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party and renounce Islam; they must sing songs of praise for communism and—shockingly—some are even sexually abused and raped.

Sadly, the Chinese government has no lack of accusers when it comes to human rights violations, from Uyghurs to Muslims to Christians. China has an ideal of what it desires their people to be like, and anyone that bucks that ideal is seen as an outsider.

For Christians, we might think we have our hands full with the human rights violations being committed against our brothers and sisters in China: Chinese Christians are constantly monitored by the world’s most sophisticated surveillance systems. The restrictions continue. Church services must include certain party rhetoric. Hosting a religious service online requires a permit, and even crosses are now completely banned in a number of Chinese provinces.

But the Savior we follow tells us we should care about human rights for all people—including the Uyghurs and other religious minorities who believe differently (both globally and in our own backyard). In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus says, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

We’re called to love our neighbor through our words and actions. And why are we called to this kind of agape love? Because Jesus loves.

Human rights is not a party issue; it’s a Christian issue. As Christians, we believe each and every person was created with value. While Jesus walked this earth, how did He show us to live? By loving our neighbors and by loving those who persecute and believe differently than us.

China’s egregious human rights violations, including its violent and inhumane treatment of the Uyghur community, should deeply upset us as Christians. Christ died for each of us and gave each person worth through the cross.  When we see any injustice, we are called to act justly:

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

“By the help of your God; hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.” (Hosea 12:6)

As Christians and believers, when we see an injustice—any injustice—we should speak out against it. Whether that be persecution against Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus or atheists. We care about the human rights violations in China because our Father loves and calls us to an active love that holds fast to justice.

Let’s continue to pray for all of China.

Let’s pray for those, Christians or not, who are persecuted for their faith in the Middle Kingdom. Let’s pray they’ll be able to worship in peace instead of fear. And let’s pray for their physical safety, that they won’t be caged like animals just because they believe differently.

Let’s pray for those Uyghurs living in horrendous conditions against their will. Let’s pray for their strength amidst their terrible struggles. And let’s pray boldly that they’ll be released quickly and without further incident.

And lastly, let’s pray for the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party. Let’s pray for their hearts, that they won’t remain hardened and fearful, but instead be filled full of joy. Let’s pray they’ll be open to religion and encourage different ways of thinking in their country. And let’s pray they’ll find God, that He’ll reveal Himself to them and that they will fully embrace the peace that comes with Him.

Father God, we pray boldly because You are a God of amazing love. Amen.