The United States was reported to have condemned China's increasing government-led persecution of Christians.
The International Christian Concern (ICC) said two high-level institutions of the United States have called the attention of the Chinese Communist Party for its increasing persecution of Christians and for other religious freedom issues. The said U.S. institutions are the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and the Office of International Religious Freedom of the Department of State.
The ICC pointed to the Department of State's annual report where Secretary Antony Blinken criticized China in the manner it treated the Uyghur Muslims. ICC said Blinken's criticism echoed what former President Donald Trump said against China's genocide of the Uyghur Muslims.
"(China) criminalizes religious expression and continues to commit crimes against humanity and genocide against Muslim Uyghurs and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups," the ICC quoted Blinken in saying in the department's annual report.
Just this month, Trump's former Ambassador for Religious Freedom Sam Brownback expressed hope that the administration of President Joe Biden would be fighting for religious freedom, citing as well Blinken's criticism of China.
"I thought the report Secretary Blinken put out today was strong. I thought his statements were strong in support of religious freedom. So, I'm hopeful myself. I'm hopeful," Brownback said in an interview with The Christian Post.
During the briefing on the State Department report's release, Senior Official Daniel Nadel said that the situation in Xinjiang, China "shocks the conscience." He said the department is arranging activities to help people better understand the "full scope and scale of the atrocities being committed there."
"Well, we're certainly looking at all available options and continuing to look at individual culpability of particular actors in China so we can apply sanctions to them where those sanctions are relevant," Nadel revealed.
"In terms of overall changes or shifts in posture, I think what we've seen over the last year and a half or so is a dramatic shift in the Government of China's posture towards this issue of human rights abuses generally," he added.
Nadel also said that the situation in China in so far as religious freedom is concerned "remains dire," since people remain to be "warehoused" in camps for many purposes including "re-education" and "forced labor."
"What the government is now doing, it's--they've basically turned Xinjiang into an open-air camp. So people's movements are closely tracked. You have minders who have been assigned to live with Uyghurs to keep tabs on them. You have people going to the market who have to check in every time they go to a different market stall. So what the government has created--it's quite an ambitious effort to essentially turn the entire region into an open-air prison," he disclosed to the members of the press who were present during the briefing.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Communist Party retaliated against the United States by sanctioning former USCIRF Commissioner Rev. Johnnie Moore for his statements in the said report that were on their abuses against religious freedom. Rev. Moore, however, was unfazed and has considered it an "honor" to be sanctioned by the regime known for its persecution of Christians and people of other faiths.