Faith leaders unite to condemn China's repression of Uighur Muslims

Faith leaders from across the world unite to condemn China’s brutal repression of its Uighur Muslim minority

  • Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is part of a worldwide group
  • Rabbi Julia Neuberger also lent her weight to a joint statement last night
  • The statement says China is clearly aiming to eradicate the Uihur identity 

Religious leaders from across the world have united to condemn China’s brutal repression of its Uighur Muslim minority.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is among a more than 40-strong group demanding a halt to what they called ‘one of the most egregious human tragedies since the Holocaust: the potential genocide of the Uighurs and other Muslims in China’.

Rabbi Julia Neuberger and the representative of the Dalai Lama in Europe also lent their weight to a joint statement last night that condemned the communist regime in Beijing, asserting that ‘the clear aim of the Chinese authorities is to eradicate the Uighur identity’.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is among a more than 40-strong group across the world have united to condemn China’s brutal repression of its Uighur Muslim minority

They add: ‘At least one million Uighur and other Muslims in China are incarcerated in prison camps facing starvation, torture, murder, sexual violence, slave labour and forced organ extraction.

‘Outside the camps, basic religious freedom is denied. 

‘Mosques are destroyed, children are separated from their families, and acts as simple as owning a Koran, praying or fasting can result in arrest.’

The Uighurs live mostly in Xinjiang province. 

China’s hardline president Xi Xinping ramped up repression on the pretext of combating terrorism after taking power in 2012. 

Rabbi Julia Neuberger (pictured) and the representative of the Dalai Lama in Europe also lent their weight to a joint statement last night that condemned the communist regime in Beijing

Despite strong evidence that up to a million Uighurs have been held in detention camps over recent years, the Chinese government has described such claims as baseless.

An academic report in June claimed Beijing had waged a campaign of forced sterilisation or birth control against Uighur women of child-bearing age, prompting calls for the UN to launch an investigation.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab last month accused China of ‘gross and egregious’ human rights abuses against the Muslim group and refused to rule out sanctions against Beijing.

But the coalition of religious heads accused world leaders of failing to act and concluded: ‘After the Holocaust, the world said “Never again.” Today, we repeat those words all over again.’

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