Target: Xi Jingping, President of the People’s Republic of China
Goal: End the widespread persecution of religious people in China.
Openly religious people in China face arrests, fines, and prison sentences just for observing their faiths, according to reports. This is a basic denial of the fundamental human right to freedom of religion. Demand that China stop persecuting its religious populations at once.
Muslims, Christians, and Buddhists alike, as well as those from other faith traditions, are facing increasingly harsh backlash from Chinese authorities over their religious practices. Classified by the United States as “a country of particular concern” for religious freedom, China is led by the officially-atheist Chinese Communist Party, which maintains tight control over the religious expression of the country’s citizens.
Only five religions are officially recognized by the government, and of those only the state-sanctioned versions are allowed to operate freely. Zhejiang, a province with a large concentration of Chinese Christians, is cracking down on the display of crosses on churches and in some cases is even tearing down the churches themselves. Similarly, in an effort to “undermine Islam’s hold on local residents” in the Muslim-majority province of Xinjiang, Chinese officials are forcing Muslim business to sell alcohol and cigarettes or risk being shut down.
People around the world, no matter where they may live, should have the right to practice their religions freely and without repression if they’re not hurting anyone. Sign the petition below to urge the Chinese government to cease its harsh campaign of religious persecution at once.
Dear President Jingping,
I am writing you today regarding some disconcerting reports about the treatment of religious people in some of your country’s provinces. These reports are symptomatic of the unfortunate record of religious repression the People’s Republic of China possesses.
The right to freedom of religious expression is a fundamental human right. Unfortunately, your government seems to disagree on that point. While I respect the official atheist stance of the ruling political party, that does not necessitate the persecution of your fellow countrymen who choose a different path.
As we speak, Christian worshippers in Zhejiang are being forced underground as their churches are torn down by authorities, and Muslims in Xinjiang are being coerced into selling alcohol so that their businesses aren’t shut down by the government. This is a violation of their human rights, and it will in all likelihood lead to the radicalization of particular communities of religious people in your country, which will only cause you more trouble in the future.
It is in your own interest, as well as that of the average Chinese citizen, to allow freedom of religious expression in your country. I urge you to end the persecution taking place against religious communities in your country at once.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Shizhao