Hartzler Introduces Resolution Condemning Persecution of Christians in China
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) and Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) today introduced a bipartisan resolution to condemn the persecution of Christians in China and encourage the U.S. government, international community and faith leaders to act in support of those who are being targeted for their faith. This bill is introduced on the first day of the U.S. State Department’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom hosted in Washington, D.C.
“The Chinese government is systematically targeting individuals of faith and severely restricting religious activities across its country,” said Hartzler, who serves as the most senior Republican on the House Armed Services Tactical Air & Land Forces Subcommittee. “Chinese authorities are closing and destroying churches, arbitrarily detaining those who practice the Christian faith, restricting minors from attending church and forcing the modification of Christian teachings to conform with the objectives of the Chinese government and Communist Party.”
“As a nation built on the fundamental principle of the freedom of religion, the United States should shed light on this persecution and speak for those in China who have no voice,” she added.
“The free and peaceful exercise of religion must be protected as a sacred human right. The surveillance, torture, and imprisonment conducted by the Chinese government is horrifying and unjust and the U.S. cannot ignore these attempts to erase Christians from China and intimidate believers,” said Rep. Jackie Speier, Chair of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee. “These abuses are getting worse and Chinese officials who direct this brutal mistreatment of their own citizens should be barred from doing business in the U.S. or traveling here until these abuses stop.”
The bipartisan resolution specifically:
- Calls on the President and the Secretary of State to strengthen U.S. religious freedom diplomacy;
- Calls on the President, Secretary of State, and Trade Representative to ensure trade negotiations include religious freedom conditions as mandated by the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015;
- Encourages the President to impose sanctions on Chinese officials accountable for their complicity in egregious violations of human rights;
- Calls on the U.S. Government to work with foreign international religious freedom institutions;
- Urges the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom to develop an action plan to employ religious freedom programming to address violations in China;
- Calls on the President to raise cases relating to religious or political prisoners at the highest levels with Chinese officials;
- Encourages Members of Congress to adopt prisoners of conscience in China;
- Calls on the Chinese Government to release all religious and political prisoners;
- Encourages the global faith community to speak in solidarity with the persecuted Christians in China.
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler serves as a commissioner on the Congressional Executive Commission on China (CECC). The Commission was established by Congress to examine China’s adherence to International Human Rights regulations, to establish rule of law in the People’s Republic of China and track victims of human rights abuses in China. The Commission is made up of nine Senators, nine Congressional Representatives and five Administrative Officials appointed by the President.
Representatives Hartzler and Speier both serve as members of the House Armed Services Committee.
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