China’s War on Religion

March 9, 2023 | Nina Shea
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The Chinese government’s merciless and systematic persecution of its Uighur Muslim population is not, primarily, due to concerns over terrorism, or an antipathy to Islam per se, or ethnic hostility, or even the traditional Marxist belief that religion is the “opiate of the masses,” but results from the Communist party’s inability to tolerate any claim that there is a source of authority higher than the state. Thus argues Nina Shea in explaining Beijing’s wholesale campaign against religious minorities—including Muslims, Christians, practitioners of Falun Gong, and, according to some reports, the remnants of the medieval Jewish community of Kaifeng. (Interview by Jeremy Hunt. Video, 38 minutes. Audio is available at the link below.)

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