Rep. Hill Op-Ed in Arkansas Catholic Chinese government sees the Catholic Church as the enemy
Little Rock, Ark. — Ranking Member on the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security, Monetary Policy, and International Financial Institutions, Rep. French Hill (AR-02) spoke out in the July 18th Arkansas Catholic against the systematic extermination of worship, particularly Christian worship, by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Rep. Hill argued that Supreme leader Xi is reversing the past practice of tolerance of the growth of faith with the goal “sinicizing” religion. Rep. Hill also asserted that countries around the world must demand transparency of all Chinese debt, compel China to become a responsible open creditor that participates under the same rules and policies as other creditor nations and ensure that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund do not reward China for its irresponsible behavior.
By: Congressman French Hill
On June 2, President Trump signed an executive order that requires the United States to “respect and vigorously promote” religious freedom. Since 1999 America has had an Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom along with the independent and bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom to promote religious freedom and tolerance as a core tenet of American foreign policy. In fact, we have an Arkansan on that commission, Dr. James Carr of Searcy. Despite this emphasis, our track record of success has been spotty.
During the pandemic, I have been participating in a series of international meetings on Zoom that highlight limitations on individuals’ exercise of their religious freedom. Around the world people of faith are objecting to liquor and hardware stores being deemed “essential” and open while our houses of worship are shuttered.
Much of our attention during our collaboration is on the systematic extermination of worship, particularly Christian worship, by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). For years, the CCP turned its authoritarian eye away from the growing numbers of the Chinese people of Christian belief, including Roman Catholics. But today the CCP supreme leader Xi Jinping is fully committed to the view, as described by Sophie Richardson from Human Rights Watch, “religion as an enemy.”
Supreme leader Xi is reversing the past practice of tolerance of the growth of the Christian faith. His goal is to “sinicize” religion. For instance, the CCP Politburo is undertaking a major initiative to rewrite the Bible, Quran, and other religious material in order to purge any passage that violates “core socialist values.” Perhaps the Chinese Communists are hearing the footsteps of Pope John Paul II and his inspiration for freedom in Poland.
Cardinal Joseph Zen was the cardinal from Hong Kong and the China region from 2002 to 2009. He has long advocated for that careful balance that preserves faithful Chinese Catholics’ rights to have access to legitimate priests and bishops within the country. Our underground Catholics are suffering and need our prayers and our advocacy. The CCP effort at rewriting the Holy Bible is just the latest attempt to block the Holy Spirit's efforts to evangelize and heal in the world's largest country.
Our international Zoom meetings also have highlighted the cynical strategy of the Xi regime to impoverish and indebt the world through China's dependency strategy known as “One Belt, One Road.” Here, China preys on the developing world for strategic military locations and commodities that it needs in its insatiable desire to dominate the globe economically and East Asia militarily.
As the ranking member on the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security, Monetary Policy and International Financial Institutions, I have been working with my colleagues around the world to demand transparency of all Chinese debt, compel China to become a responsible open creditor that participates under the same rules and policies as other creditor nations, and to ensure that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund do not reward China for its irresponsible behavior. From Africa to South America to Asia this message is being heard loud and clear.
Catholic legislators around the world collaborate to craft solutions to the challenges of religious tolerance and the use of predatory tactics by the Chinese Communists and their neocolonial economic policies. It’s an honor to help drive this effort in our Congress and abroad.