Pope Francis refers to China’s Uyghurs as ‘persecuted’ for the primary time

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“I think often of persecuted peoples: the Rohingya, the poor Uyghurs, the Yazidi — what ISIS did to them was truly cruel — or Christians in Egypt and Pakistan killed by bombs that went off while they prayed in church,” Francis says in a brand new e book, “Let Us Dream: The Path to A Better Future,” revealed on Monday.

The US State Department has stated as many as two million Uyghurs, who’re predominately Muslim, and different minority teams have been taken to large detention facilities in China’s far-western Xinjiang area, the place former detainees have described being subjected to indoctrination, bodily abuse and sterilization.

Beijing insists the camps are vocational coaching facilities constructed to deal with the specter of spiritual extremism and denies allegations of widespread human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

The Pope doesn’t elaborate additional on points regarding Uyghurs within the e book outdoors the temporary point out, whereas he talks about different persecuted teams just like the Rohingya in additional particulars.

The e book, a wide-ranging reflection on Francis’ imaginative and prescient of a post-coronavirus world was written along with papal biographer Austen Ivereigh through the summer time of 2020.

The Vatican lately prolonged a controversial agreement with Beijing over the appointment of bishops in mainland China.

Beijing had lengthy insisted on having the ultimate say on all bishop appointments within the nation, however the 2018 settlement delivered to an finish many years of rigidity between the 2 sides, which severed formal diplomatic ties in 1951.

The particulars of the settlement have by no means been made public and it has been criticized by some, together with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Speaking at an everyday press briefing Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian stated that Pope Francis’s inclusion of Uyghurs on a listing of persecuted peoples was “totally groundless.”

“There are 56 ethnic groups in China, and the Uyghur ethnic group is an equal member of the big family of the Chinese nation. The Chinese government has always treated (all) the minority groups equally and protected their legitimate rights and interests,” he stated.

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