The ERLC advocates for the dignity of the sojourner in accordance with Scripture’s expectation on God’s people to minister to the vulnerable. God’s love for the immigrant, refugee, and foreigner is a specific and consistent biblical theme, and He calls His people to do the same. Christ, the greatest example of love, commands us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
The U.S. government has made an official determination that the People’s Republic of China is committing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, China, for targeting Uyghur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups. Since 2017, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has waged a systemic campaign of oppression and persecution against Uyghur Muslims. The CCP is seeking to “pacify” the region with totalitarian tactics like pervasive surveillance, thought control, ideological reeducation, forced birth control, and compulsory labor. China has constructed upward of 1,000 internment camps for this purpose, and it’s estimated that 1-3 million Uyghur Muslims are detained in these facilities. Aside from political indoctrination, physical and psychological abuse is commonplace throughout these camps, including rape, torture, malnourishment, and forced organ harvesting.
The Uyghur Human Rights Protection Act designates Priority 2 refugee status for ethnic Uyghurs and others who are suffering from arbitrary arrest, mass detention, and political and religious persecution by the Chinese government. This bipartisan bill expedites their ability to apply for refugee status and asylum in the U.S. Priority 2 status is for groups of special humanitarian concern to the United States who are designated by the U.S. government for resettlement processing and provides them direct access to the U.S. refugee system.
The U.S. has a history of welcoming refugees fleeing persecution, and we must not return Uyghurs to a country where they face a horrific genoicde. By offering priority 2 refugee status to Uyghurs, our nation can demonstrate that this country is a safe haven for the persecuted and those whose human rights have been abused and whose religious freedom has been violated. The United States must continue to counter China morally and offering Uyghurs refuge is a strong next step.
The ERLC supports the bipartisan Uyghur Human Rights Protection Act so that the United States can be a place of refuge for Uyghurs fleeing persecution.