Three-day conference concludes with statements exposing CCP’s horrific repression of Uyghurs and movements it labels as xie jiao. Bitter Winter was there.
On June 1, 2019, Taiwanese Vice-President Mr Chen Chien-jen concluded the Taiwan International Religious Freedom Forum, a three-day event hosted by ChinaAid, the Heritage Foundation, the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, and Taiwan Association for China Human Rights at Presbyterian Bible College in Hsinchu, Taiwan. The conference was opened on May 30 with a speech by Taiwan’s President, Ms Tsai Ing-wen.
Vice-President Chen presented two declarations prepared by the Forum. The first exposed “the substantial, credible, and growing body of unrefuted evidence that the Communist Party of China has authorized and sanctioned—and continues to carry out —a systematic program of ‘organ harvesting’ with a horrific and cruel loss of human lives.” It asked all civilized countries not to “receive or accept, directly or indirectly, any organ transplant from China.” During the conference it was revealed that not only Falun Gong practitioners are targeted by organ harvesting. Members of other groups in the list of the xie jiao, including The Church of Almighty God, and Uyghur Muslims are also victims of the barbaric practice.
The second declaration presented the horrific situation of the transformation through education camps in Xinjiang, and concluded that “silence in the face of mass atrocities is a green light for continued crimes, and inaction is not a neutral stance.” Speakers at the conference noted that, although originally the number of Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other Muslim inmates in the camps was assessed at one million, it continues to growth and some American governmental sources believe today it is closer to three million.
The conference was attended by religious and NGO leaders, and members of Parliaments of various countries from Asia, Europe, the United States, and Africa. It discussed religious liberty problems in several countries, including Pakistan, Nigeria and Myanmar, but many speeches focused on China. A message of the Dalai Lama expressing support for the initiative was read.
The closed-door conference operated with the understanding that remarks should not be attributed to specific speakers without their authorization. Some, however, talked to the media and denounced the crackdown on all religions in China, including Nadine Maenza, one of the commissioners of the U.S. Commissions on International Religious Freedom, and Dr Bob Fu of ChinaAid. A lecture offering an overview of the religious persecution in China was delivered by Prof Massimo Introvigne, editor-in-chief of Bitter Winter. He insisted on the fact that all religions are persecuted in Xi Jinping’s China, including the five approved religions, whose places of worship are now often demolished or closed under various pretexts. However, the non-authorized religions, including house churches, suffer a harsher persecution. And the worst persecution of them all targets the groups the CCP includes in its list of the xie jiao, such as Falun Gong and The Church of Almighty God, whose members routinely suffer torture, extra-judicial killing, and organ harvesting. “Obviously,” Introvigne stated, “individuals who commit common crimes should be punished, and cannot shield themselves under pretexts of religious liberty. However, lists of xie jiao are inherently repressive and would have no place in any democratic country. It is not for the state to determine what teachings are orthodox, and even religious beliefs regarded as unorthodox or heretic by the mainline religions and churches should be entitled to religious liberty.”