The “most horrific” human rights abuse of the century
International | The Chinese government expands internment camps for Uighurs
by Mindy Belz
Posted 8/27/20, 02:07 pm
CHINA: Authorities have continued to increase the Chinese government’s internment camp system in Xinjiang province, where officials already have detained more than 1 million Uighurs. Using satellite imagery, BuzzFeed News identified 260 new structures built since 2017—at least one in every county of Xinjiang. It’s the latest evidence of mass detention aimed at controlling and eliminating the mostly Muslim Uighur population in the province. At a Faith Angle Forum discussion this week, China Aid founder Bob Fu told journalists the persecution of Uighurs is “the single most horrific, systematic human rights abuse of the 21st century.”
LEBANON: Maronite priest Richard Abi Salih buried 38 parishioners in two days after the Aug. 4 explosion in Beirut—my WORLD Magazine story on the outsized toll on the city’s Christian community and the enormous cleanup effort now driven by evangelical and Catholic leaders.
SYRIA: U.S. military personnel suffered injuries in an accident involving Russian forces in northeast Syria. The apparent collision in Derik is one of a string of incidents involving Russian harassment of American units. About 500 U.S. personnel remain in northern Syria after a Trump administration pullout that allowed Turkey to take over key cities and Russian forces to deploy there.
BRITAIN The country’s Supreme Court lifted a stay that had blocked authorities from sharing evidence on two jailed ISIS leaders, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey. The two Brits, known as “the Beatles,” are accused of involvement in the killings of American hostages James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and Kayla Mueller. Mueller’s parents are scheduled to speak on Thursday night at the Republican National Convention.
IRAN: Islam is the fastest-shrinking religion in Iran, while Christianity is growing, with up to half a million converts from Muslim families, most of them evangelicals.
NEW ZEALAND: A judge sentenced the gunman who slaughtered 51 people at two Christchurch mosques last year to life in prison without the possibility of parole—the first time the sentence has been imposed in New Zealand.
Judge Cameron Mander imposed the maximum available sentence on Australian white supremacist Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 29, who targeted Muslims praying.
BELARUS: Opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, in a speech delivered via video link from her exile in Lithuania, told members of the European Parliament to continue their support for what she called a “democratic revolution” in her country. “Belarus has woken up,” she said. “We are not the opposition anymore. We are the majority now. The peaceful revolution is taking place.”
MEXICO: Community leaders in Hidalgo state are forcing Protestant families to sign a document renouncing their faith and are cutting off their water and other essential government services if they refuse.
LATIN AMERICA: Evangelical pastors in at least two Latin American countries are dying of COVID-19 at alarming rates—more than 100 in Bolivia and at least 44 in Nicaragua.
I’M READING: After the Last Border by Jessica Goudeau.
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Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine's first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and now senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afganistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C. Follow her on Twitter @mcbelz.