1. China’s Orwellian War On Religion.

By Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times, May 23, 2019, Pg. A33, Opinion

Let’s be blunt: China is accumulating a record of Orwellian savagery toward religious people.

At times under Communist Party rule, repression of faith has eased, but now it is unmistakably worsening. China is engaging in internment, monitoring or persecution of Muslims, Christians and Buddhists on a scale almost unparalleled by a major nation in three-quarters of a century.

Maya Wang of Human Rights Watch argues that China under Xi Jinping “poses a threat to global freedoms unseen since the end of World War II.”

China’s roundup of Muslims in internment camps — which a Pentagon official called concentration camps — appears to be the largest such internment of people on the basis of religion since the collection of Jews for the Holocaust. 

While China hasn’t established concentration camps for Christians, it has harassed congregations, closed or destroyed churches, in some areas barred children from attending services and last year detained Christians about 100,000 times, according to China Aid, a religious watchdog group (if one person was detained five times over the year, that would count as five detentions).


2. How Phrasing Has Intensified Abortion Battle.

By Amy Harmon, The New York Times, May 23, 2019, Pg. A1

The new laws that prohibit abortion as early as the sixth week of pregnancy have been called “heartbeat” legislation by supporters, a reference to the flickering pulse that can be seen on ultrasound images of a developing embryo.

But when the American Civil Liberties Union announced a legal challenge last week to one such law in Ohio, there was no mention of the word “heartbeat” in the news release, which referred to the law instead as “a ban on almost all abortions.”

The battle over abortion has long been shaped by language. After abortion opponents coined the “pro-life” phrase in the 1960s to emphasize what they saw as the humanity of the fetus, supporters of abortion cast themselves as “pro-choice” to stress a woman’s right to make decisions about her body. In the mid-1990s, the term “partial-birth abortion,” originated by the anti-abortion group National Right to Life, helped rally public opinion against a late-term abortion procedure. Abortion rights activists countered with “Trust Women.”


3. Repression, not counterterrorism.

By Nathan Sales and Sam Brownback, The Washington Post, May 23, 2019, Pg. A21, Opinion
Nathan Sales is the ambassador at large for counterterrorism and Sam Brownback is the ambassador at large for international religious freedom at the State Department.

The Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Muslims in Xinjiang province is drawing condemnation from civilized nations and civil society because of its brutality, scale and violation of the fundamental right to religious freedom. But there is another angle that should also raise concern: These abuses undermine the global consensus on counterterrorism. Beijing is painting its human rights violations as a legitimate counterterrorism effort, when they patently are not.

The government’s outrageous conduct in Xinjiang is well-documented. 

The United States estimates that since April 2017, China has detained more than 1 million Muslim men, women and children in forced labor camps. Up to 2 million more have been sent for political indoctrination in daytime facilities. All told, the number of Chinese citizens in these facilities constitutes some 15 to 25 percent of Xinjiang’s total ethnic-minority population. The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China described the situation as the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today. 

Counterterrorism and human rights go hand in hand — they are mutually reinforcing — and the United States will speak out for both, with allies and adversaries alike. 


4. Pope urges China’s Catholics to unify after bishop deal.

By The Associated Press, May 22, 2019,  4:48 AM

Pope Francis is urging China’s divided Catholic community to come together in communion, as he seeks to heal decades of estrangement following a landmark deal with Beijing over bishop nominations.

Francis made a special appeal at the end of his weekly audience Wednesday, noting that May 24 is a feast day in China dedicated to the Virgin Mary.


5. Pope prays for Spanish missionary murdered in Central African Republic.

By Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service, May 22, 2019, 9:16 AM

Pope Francis led thousands of pilgrims in prayer for a Spanish missionary sister killed in Central African Republic.

While greeting French pilgrims attending his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square May 22, the pope said he was saddened to hear of the brutal murder of Daughter of Jesus Sister Ines Nieves Sancho, a 77-year-old Spanish missionary who was killed May 20 outside her convent in Nola, Central African Republic.

Sister Nieves, the pope said, before bowing his head in silence, “was yet another woman who gave her life for Jesus in the service of the poor.”

After several minutes of silent prayer, the pope led the faithful in praying a “Hail Mary” for the slain missionary.


6. Pro-lifers really do care about single moms, and it shows.

By Nicole Russell, The Washington Examiner, May 22, 2019, 8:00 AM

The author’s sardonic “I’ll wait” was likely a signal she didn’t think many would have legitimate responses. It’s a common misnomer in the pro-choice community that people who care deeply about the fate of the unborn don’t likewise care for the pregnant women struggling to make ends meet should she go through with the pregnancy.

Nothing could be further from the truth: Responses poured in by the thousands. Anonymous, blue-check, and other accounts described hundreds of ways ordinary people have offered help to single mothers. From purchasing a car to furnishing a home, or providing for the mother’s children or adopting orphaned children, thousands of pro-life advocates not only want to protect the unborn but they help the very women who struggle after choosing life.

Before the justices heard this case, the Catholic Association filed a most unique brief. Attorneys interviewed 13 women about how their lives changed dramatically not just because they chose life, but because of the support they received from pregnancy centers the state of California was discriminating against.

There are countless stories like this, of women helping other women — not just to save a baby but to help them survive and thrive as mothers, should they chose to keep their child. 


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