Chinese/American relations are complex. With our debt accumulating beyond our GDP and much of our imports coming from China, this situation has been slowly bubbling to a heated confrontation for decades now, and how we proceed will determine if it boils over.
It’s no secret that China is active in the Libyan slave trade. Viewers have been able to watch living people being auctioned off on YouTube for years now.
Human rights concerns are constantly being raised in defense of Muslim Uighurs. One of the last acts of former President Trump, before leaving office, was to declare the CCP’s actions of forcing these individuals into labor camps, sterilizing them, and potentially subjecting these people to organ harvesting, as “genocide.”
Yet, still, major American corporations (and many people who support them), and even the Biden Administration, has yet to decry these actions. Now a new attack on human rights has been recorded. According to Radio free Asia, Christians in China are now being forced into “Secretive Brainwashing Camps.”
A survivor of one of these camps, who asked to be referred to under the pseudonym Li Yuese, is a member of a Christian “house church.” He said he was held for around 9 months in a windowless room where he was subjected to beatings, “mental torture” and verbal abuse.
Americans often take their rights for granted. We openly express displeasure over government policies without repercussion and lead our lives as we see fit. It is difficult for any of us to fully comprehend the kind of fear and oppression that comes with having to hide one’s own religion.
I am a Pagan. Living in the U.S. offers me protections against the pain and suffering that people like me have undergone throughout history.
There are many misconceptions about what it means to be a Pagan. I am specifically polytheistic and celebrate the turning of the seasons as a gift from the Gods. Being able to do so freely is an opportunity I never intend to take for granted.
Because of this understanding, I also enjoy seeing others celebrate their faith, regardless of its origin. For me, so long as others express their spirituality in a respectful manner, those beliefs are a beautiful thing which share enough similarities to my own that I can be happy for everyone who is confident in their connection to their creator(s).
The CCP, on the other hand, is an atheist entity known for opposing organized religion. They have oppressed religious displays and practices in public. It is not safe to celebrate faith openly. It is not easy to connect with one’s personal spirituality because it is so highly oppressed.
Li Yuese took a risk in just coming forward to give his account of what he went through in these camps. His faith and his ability to celebrate his direct link to his creator is being openly persecuted. He also spoke of being subjected to “brainwashing sessions,” food deprivation, and forced injections.
When governments torture religious people, they are not just committing acts against that particular faith they are committing an affront against the whole of humanity. For most of our history, people have worshiped their origins. It is an important element of who we are.
Cutting that off leads to unhealthy behaviors. In this instance, it led Yuese to become suicidal. He said, “I couldn’t sleep; after you’ve been in there a week, death starts to look better than staying there. I bashed myself against the wall to self-harm.”
If China continues to persecute peaceful religious people, how can America and any of its businesses ethically continue associating with such an entity? How can our school systems continue heralding socialist and communist regimes which directly harm their own people?
The American spirit has been vastly tested as of late. Our right to freedom of religion may only legally serve American citizens, but it is an inherent right that all people are deserving of. We cannot, in good faith, work with tyrants which expressly move to destroy everything our country stands for. It is a specific conflict of interest that worsens relations and taints our ability to live and worship as a free people.