Date:                 September 30, 2020

Secretary Pompeo speaking at the Holy See.
(Photo: Creative Commons)

(Rome, Italy—Sept. 30, 2020) In his address to the Holy See, Secretary Pompeo spoke about advancing and defending religious freedom through diplomacy. “A Church should permanently engage in support of those who wish to take 'the risk of freedom' of which Pope John Paul II spoke, especially, most especially where religious freedom is denied, or limited, or even crushed." 

According to Secretary Pompeo:

Although their actions may differ, authoritarian regimes, terrorists, and even secularists, free societies trample religious freedom throughout the world. "Nowhere, however—nowhere is religious freedom under assault more than it is inside of China today." As Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials work continuously to extinguish the light of freedom, particularly religious freedom, they, like other communist regimes, consider themselves the ultimate moral authority.

The Chinese Communist Party persecutes "every religious community," Secretary Pompeo said. Along with the Uyghur Muslims, victims include Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong devotees, and more. In China:

  • Catholic churches and shrines have been desecrated and destroyed.
  • Catholic bishops like Augustine Cui Tai have been imprisoned....
  • Catholic lay leaders in the human rights movement, not least in Hong Kong, have been arrested.
  • Authorities order residents to replace pictures of Jesus with those of Chairman Mao and those of General Secretary Xi Jinping.

Secretary Pompeo stresses that the Church must support those pursuing freedoms as well as should understand that being salt and light often means exercising a bold moral witness. This call to witness not only extends to Christians and Catholics but extends to all faiths, to leaders of all faiths at all levels.

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