U.S. Department of State Slams Religious Oppression in China and North Korea
Why Trump Is So Intent on Supporting Religion

President Trump has signed an Executive Order entitled “Establishment of a White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative” at the beginning of May(Picture from the official facebook page of The White House).

Key points in this article:

  • The U.S. Department of State criticizes North Korea and China in a report on Religious Freedom
  • The report suggests that in North Korea 80,000 to 120,000 people are being held captive and they show no desire to improve religious freedom
  • Japan should act to support the spread of religious freedom in Asia

On 29 May the U.S. Department of State released the International Religious Freedom Report for 2017. In the chapter on North Korea, the report mentioned “concerns about the country’s use of arbitrary executions, political prison camps, and torture amounting to crimes against humanity.”

“A South Korean nongovernmental organization (NGO) said there were 1,304 cases of violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief by DPRK authorities during the year,” the report continued. “An estimated 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners, some imprisoned for religious reasons, were believed to be held in the political prison camp system in remote areas under horrific conditions.”

At a press conference, Sam Brownback, the recently appointed U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, said that “the President is right on point on North Korea,” so religious freedom would be “a matter of discussion” between the U.S. and North Korea.


Trump Is Trying to Protect Religious Freedom

On 3 May, President Trump revealed the White House’s Faith and Opportunity Initiative that will allow faith-based organizations to have formal ties with the government.

According to Religion News Service, “those working on the initiative will provide policy recommendations from faith-based and community programs on ‘more effective solutions to poverty’ and inform the administration of ‘any failures of the executive branch to comply with religious liberty protections under law.”

“Faith is more powerful than government, and nothing is more powerful than God,” said Trump.

Trump’s desire to protect religious freedom is clear.


Report Discusses China’s Religious Oppression

The 2017 Report also mentioned the Beijing government’s religious oppression of Tibetan Buddhism, Muslims in Xinjiang Uyghur and Falun Gong. The Epoch Times reported on 30 May that, “Although the Chinese Constitution recognises religious freedom, the Communist Party of China threatens and tries to control religions that don’t contribute to government profits. The Beijing government only respects patriotic religious activities. Any believers belonging to unregistered religions they torture, abuse, arrest and judge unfairly in court”.

The Trump government has announced a cabinet meeting for 25-26 July to discuss religious freedom. They are standing up to protect religious freedom in the world.


Cruel Religious Oppression in China and North Korea

The Liberty Magazine has been reporting on the religious oppression happening in China and North Korea.

Interviewing the victims of oppression from various religions in these countries, a common sentiment began to appear: a high expectation towards Japan.

While many countries in Asia depend on the Chinese economy, many of the human rights activists have their hopes pinned on Japan.


Good and Evil are Religious Values

Those interviews with people persevering to fight for religious freedom under oppressive regimes like the Communist Party of China and the Kim Regime shows us how important religious freedom actually is.

Defected Tibetan scholar Pema Gyalpo told the The Liberty Magazine that, “without religion there would be no concept of good or evil. And there can be no justice in a place without good or evil”. When asked to give a message to Japan he said, “the Japanese people must realize how much freedom they are being given, and at the same time to have more concern for the people in other countries who are suffering from the loss of freedom”.

Dictatorial governments like those in China and North Korea are able to torture, confine and deprive their people of freedom without regret because they think of people as machines. Behind this is atheism, the idea that God does not exist and therefore humans do not have inherent dignity. Japan should act to support the spread of religious freedom in Asia.

U.S. Department of State Slams Religious Oppression in China and North Korea
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