Press Releases

ERLC commends Congress on reaching agreement on Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

December 14, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 14, 2021—Brent Leatherwood, acting president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, commented on the announced Congressional agreement on the final legislative text of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.

“I was heartened to learn of the compromise reached by the U.S. House and Senate that allows this legislation to move forward,” said Leatherwood. “At a time when Washington is synonymous with gridlock, it is no small thing for members of Congress to work together on a bipartisan basis to get this critical bill to the President’s desk. Its passage ensures America will take steps to counter China for its genocidal treatment of the Uyghurs. President Biden should sign it into law without delay.”

“I’m grateful for the leadership of Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Chris Smith (R-N.J.) for spearheading this effort. Six months ago, the SBC spoke with one voice to become the first denomination to rightly label the atrocities being perpetrated against the Uyghur people a genocide. I am confident our entire convention of churches is thankful our nation will no longer tolerate the CCP profiting from its ghoulish oppression of the Uyghurs once this Act becomes law.”  

On Dec. 3, Leatherwood sent a letter on behalf of the ERLC to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging the government to take swift action in countering China morally. 

“The United States must send a strong message to the Chinese Communist Party that products made through forced labor will not be accepted because these egregious inhumane practices will not be tolerated,” Leatherwood wrote.

The ERLC has consistently advocated on behalf of the Uyghurs and condemned the CCP’s unconscionable human rights abuses against them and other ethnic minorities. Below are ERLC assets calling attention to the plight of the Uyghurs. 

Photo Attribution:

Anadolu Agency / Getty Contributor

Elizabeth Bristow

Elizabeth Bristow serves as the Press Secretary. Elizabeth oversees press and media operations for the organization. She received a B.A. in Public Relations and Marketing from Union University in 2010. She and her husband reside in Lebanon, Tennessee and are blessed with two beautiful children. Read More by this Author