The Chinese government continues to perpetrate particularly severe violations of religious freedom. In May 2014, USCIRF released its 2014 Annual Report and again recommended that China be designated as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, in 2014. The State Department has designated China as a CPC since 1999. From the report:
“A China committed to protecting and advancing its citizens’ fundamental rights and religious freedoms is in the interests of the United States.”
In September 2014, USCIRF released a press release entitled China: USCIRF Condemns Harsh Sentence for Ilham Tohti. From the press release:
“The Chinese government’s targeting of Uighur Muslim’s peaceful private gatherings predictably has led to instability and insecurity, and fueled resentment and the very extremism it seeks to quell.”
In July 2014, USCIRF released a press release entitled China Criticized for Banning Ramadan Fast. From the press release:
“By continuing its annual ban on fasting during Ramadan, the Chinese government signals its ongoing disrespect for internationally recognized human rights, including the right of freedom of religion or belief…students and teachers, professors, and other government employees are prohibited from fasting and, in some cases, from performing their daily prayers, during Ramadan.”
Since 2011, more than 100 human rights defenders from China, many of whom often work on religious freedom cases, were forcibly disappeared, tortured, detained, stripped of legal licenses, or sentenced to prison terms. Through the Defending Freedoms Project, an initiative created by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, in conjunction with USCIRF and Amnesty International USA, there are currently 13 Chinese prisoners of conscience highlighted in the project.