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The Church of Sweden has a moral responsibility to act in the interest of the Uyghurs

The Church of Sweden has a moral responsibility to act in the interest of the Uyghurs


Stop the genocide of Uyghurs in China. This is what the Christian Democrats in the Church of Sweden are demanding in a proposal for this year’s church meeting. In some cases, the church has an easier time making its voice heard than the organs of state. Therefore, raise the status of Uyghurs in international ecumenical organizations.

Uyghur In China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region, they lived for decades under the systematic oppression of the Chinese Communist regime. From the Christian Democrats of the Church of Sweden, we want to invite the Church of Sweden, as well as other civil society organizations, to work for the Uyghurs. Civil society actors can act in a broader way than government agencies and exercise their weight for a gradual change in the situation. So we add a proposal to this year’s church meeting, whereby the church council has been tasked with raising the status of the Uyghurs in China in international ecumenical organizations and in these also a proposal for a review of the application of international law in China.

In March 2021, the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy and the Canadian Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights published a comprehensive and well-supported report on the persecution of Uyghurs. The United Nations Genocide Convention sets out five criteria, each of which is sufficient to define a systematic violation as genocide. The aforementioned institutes found that abuses against Uyghurs meet all criteria. Political condemnations of the actions of the Chinese regime in Xinjiang Province have come from various countries in the West and the European Union, and sanctions decisions are present among other countries, beside Britain. It is difficult yet to see how this affected China’s policy toward the Uyghurs. The Muslim world’s response to the persecution of the Uyghurs has been weak.

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Swedish Churchn has a historical relationship with China and the peoples living in China, both through the mission carried out in the first half of the twentieth century and through the activities conducted by SKUT (Swedish Church Abroad). The Church of Sweden is located in China and services are celebrated regularly in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. ACT The Church of Sweden works on advocacy work in international bodies and in different countries.

With this background, and given what is happening to the Uyghurs today, the Swedish Church has a moral responsibility to act. A small step was taken in 2020, when Ada, the Swedish Municipalities and Regions Office for Sustainable Procurement, and the Church of Sweden began a collaboration to identify cases of state forced labor in IT supply chains with respect to China. The purpose was to ensure that IT providers and trademark owners observed human rights due diligence in accordance with the contractual terms. The report’s conclusions were that follow-up did not reveal any final assembly production in Xinjiang.

The abuses taking place against the Uyghurs are well documented today, so there is reason to move forward and act in other ways as well.

Torbjorn Aronson,

Chairman of the Christian Democrats of the Church of Sweden (KR)