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USCIRF Report Documents How China’s Surveillance State Threatens Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released a report on the Chinese government’s use of surveillance cameras, biometric technology and artificial intelligence to monitor and harass religious communities. Included in the report are how the government has installed thousands of cameras around mosques, temples, and churches in order to track who attends services; and Chinese companies have marketed facial recognition technology as has having the ability to identify and notify security forces about the presence of any Uighur Muslims or Tibetan Buddhists.

Religious Freedom in China’s High-Tech Surveillance State

During the past decade, the Chinese government has increasingly employed advanced technology to amplify its repression of religious and faith communities. Authorities have installed surveillance cameras both outside and inside houses of worship to monitor and identify attendees. The government has deployed facial recognition systems that are purportedly able to distinguish Uighurs and Tibetans from other ethnic groups. Chinese authorities have also collected biometric information—including blood samples, voice recordings, and fingerprints—from religious and faith communities, often without their consent.

PRESS RELEASE: USCIRF Commissioner Gary Bauer Calls for Release of Imprisoned Underground Church Leader Hu Shigen

WASHINGTON, DC – United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Commissioner Gary Bauer today called on Chinese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Hu Shigen, an underground church leader and religious freedom advocate.

On Tiananmen Square Anniversary, USCIRF Calls for Sanctions on Officials Responsible for Religious Freedom Violations

WASHINGTON, DC -- On the 30th anniversary of the Chinese government’s violent suppression of peaceful protests in and around Tiananmen Square, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) called on the U.S. government to impose Global Magnitsky sanctions 

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