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'Their situation is absolutely desperate' 


Christians should care about the Uyghurs – and seek to help them, Christian researcher sanctioned by China has told UK churches


Uighur800In an event at Wallsend Baptist Church, North Tyneside, UK churches heard that they should be deeply concerned for the plight of Uyghur Muslims and other minorities oppressed in China’s Xinjiang province, and should seek to support them.

Since 2017 China has relentlessly suppressed the rights and identities of Uyghur, Kazakh and other mainly-Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang province. More than 1 million people have been detained in a network of secret camps, making this the largest mass incarceration of an ethnic minority since the Nazi holocaust.

The existence of the camps was uncovered by Dr Adrian Zenz, an academic researcher who is also a Christian. Dr Zenz has been formally sanctioned by the Chinese government because of his work in exposing what many scholars and lawyers are describing as a “genocide.” Dr Zenz spoke at Wallsend Baptist Church on Tuesday, 31 August, at an event entitled, “Why Should Christians care about the Uyghurs – and what can they do to help them?”

The event was organised by Professor Nick Megoran, minister of Wallsend Baptist Church and Newcastle University Asia expert. The event was supported by the Northern Baptist Association and Wallsend Churches Working Together. Nick was also co-organiser of the Newcastle University conference, “The Xinjiang Crisis: Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, Justice,” which took place 1 - 3 September. Dr Zenz was a keynote speaker at the conference.
 
Dr Zenz says, 'For us as Christians, this is a call to action. It is our duty to speak out for the oppressed, to be a voice for the voiceless. The Uyghurs may be far away, but they are our neighbours on this planet. Their situation is absolutely desperate.'

He added, 'We should speak out as churches, as individuals, by contacting our elected representatives, and by supporting relevant campaigns. Also, we should urgently pray for justice and freedom from oppression for all those persecuted in China.'

Professor Megoran said, 'The genocide of the Uyghurs is one of the most alarming cases of mass human-rights abuse in the world today. Every human being is made in God’s image and deserves to be treated with dignity.

'Dr Zenz’s urgent message is a wake-up call to the UK church – a call to understand, pray, and take action. I hope that Dr Zenz’s visit to the UK will inspire and challenge us to do that.' 


Image | Kuzzat Altay | Unsplash

Baptist Times, 06/09/2021
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