Christians should pursue the truth behind religious persecution

Christians must be globally minded and pray for the Uighur Muslims.

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Hannah Dilanchyan, Staff Writer

Whenever I hear about religious persecution, I think of the days when the Nero and the Romans pursued early Christians or of Scottish martyrs being tied to a tree and drowned in rivers for their faith. While we all know that religious persecution is still a problem, we often do not know how bad persecution today really is.

One of the most horrific accounts of religious persecution is happening right now. The Chinese government is actively rounding up Uighur Muslims and placing them in what they termed as “re-education camps.” It is vital that Christians take the time to research and educate themselves about the sufferings of others. When Christians are more globally minded, they are able to sympathize with other people, bridging the gap between religions and opening an opportunity for interfaith conversations.

BEHIND THE WALLS

Many people do not know who the Uighur people are or what is happening to them. I had no idea until I did some research. Here’s what I found; the Uighurs are an Islamic Sunni minority group in Northwest China, specifically in the Xinjiang province. Time reported that over one million Uighur Muslims have been sent to these internment camps. BBC wrote that the detained Muslims are “locked up, indoctrinated and punished.”  

At first, the world didn’t take a second glance at these internment camps because some Uighur Muslims were responsible for multiple terrorist attacks in 2013 and 2014, according to PBS. The Chinese government then began to punish potential criminals before they had committed a crime. China claimed that these internment camps were to temporarily hold the Uighur Muslims, who are labeled a “terrorist group.” 

However, after a few Muslims were released from the camps, they told their stories of being “forced to memorize and recite Communist propaganda every day,” revealing obvious brainwashing as well as enduring various forms of torture, showing the truth behind the walls. In these internment camps, the Muslims are forced to eat pork and drink alcohol, which are direct sins against Islamic law, the Independent reports. A detainee explained how they not only endured physical pain and torture but fierce psychological terror as well. 

SEEK TRUTH AND DON’T SETTLE

Christians are called to be wise and shrewd. As a Christian journalist, I have a passion to uncover the truth and shine a light on it. Our faith is based on truth, which means we should never be satisfied with a simple answer if it is void of truth. For example, the Chinese state television portrays the camps as a happy place where people go as a form of “boarding school,” according to Yahoo News. With even a little bit of research, you will find that is far from the truth. “Transformation through education” is the motto for these camps. Christians should ask: “what kind of transformation?” Define your terms.   

Unspeakable pain and terror take place all over the world in the form of religious persecution. The Uighur Muslims are a minority group not enough people know about. As Christians, we can sympathize with these Muslims, recognizing that we are called to love one another. Becoming more globally aware of the sufferings of others can help us create a bridge between religions. When we do this, we can form interfaith relationships, winning others for Christ. Christians must pray for both the souls of these Muslims as well as for their oppressors. Pray that God would enter into the darkness of these camps and shine a light so bright that no one will resist his grace, love and salvation.