Human Rights Watch (HRW) has alleged in a report that the Chinese government has been cracking down on many religious denominations in the Communist country particularly on Christian groups.
HRW has accused Chinese officials of having spearheaded a massive campaign that involved the burning of bibles, closing down of places of worship, and forcing Christians to sign documents that make them renounce their faith.
A more brutal allegation is that Muslims are being rounded up and holed up in “brainwashing camps” where they are forced to eat pork and consume alcohol.
HRW China Director, Sophie Richardson, believes China has categorized religious groups as threats to the government and President Xi Jinping’s ideology:
“The Chinese government has long treated any organized religious groups with disdain and hostility. It doesn’t matter if it is Christianity, Islam, or Buddhism, it considers them as a vehicle and mechanism to carry out political disloyalty and separatism.”
China is estimated to have a population of 38 million Protestants. In a few decades, China is projected to have the largest population of Christians. President Xi has mandated that its religious denominations only practice their worship in congregations that are registered in the government.
Many of the churches that were raided and shut down belong in the underground and have defied Xi’s directive.
A report published by HRW revealed that 13 million Muslims residing in the province of Xinjiang province were punished for practicing their faith.
The report details that Chinese-Muslims have been placed under constant surveillance; their communications and movements monitored.
A separate report by The Daily Mail disclosed that an estimated 1 million members of Muslim minority groups were detained in camps situated in northwest China.
It is alleged that the captured Muslims were forced to renounce their faith and pledge their allegiance to the Communist Party of China.
Former detainees share the harrowing experience of being forced to eat pork and drink alcohol.
The United Nations has voiced its concern and has instructed China to release the people who were detained in these camps.
The Chinese government has denied the existence of such camps.