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‘The evidence is overwhelming’: Chief Rabbi tears into China over persecution of Uighur Muslims 

‘The evidence is overwhelming’: Chief Rabbi tears into China over persecution of Uighur Muslims

  • Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said he saw parallels between the treatment of the Uighurs and the oppression of Jews through the centuries
  • He said the evidence painted ‘a devastating picture’ of Uighur persecution 
  • More than one million of the Chinese Muslims are believed to be detained in so-called ‘re-education’ camps in Xinjiang province

The leader of Britain’s Orthodox Jews yesterday became the most prominent religious leader in this country to condemn China over the persecution of its Uighur Muslims.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said he felt compelled to speak out because of the parallels between the treatment of the Uighurs and the oppression of Jews down the centuries.

‘The weight of evidence of this persecution of the Uighur Muslim minority in China is overwhelming,’ he said. 

‘Satellite images, leaked documents and survivor testimonies all paint a devastating picture affecting well over one million people. 

‘Can it be true that, in our modern, sophisticated world, men and women are still beaten if they refuse to renounce their faith? 

The leader of Britain’s Orthodox Jews yesterday became the most prominent religious leader in this country to condemn China over the persecution of its Uighur Muslims. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said he felt compelled to speak out because of the parallels between the treatment of the Uighurs and the oppression of Jews down the centuries [File photo]

‘That women are forced to abort their unborn children and are then sterilised?

‘That forced imprisonment, the separation of children from their parents and a culture of intimidation and fear have become the norm?’

Chief Rabbi Mirvis said in an article in The Guardian newspaper: ‘Reflecting upon the deep pain of Jewish persecution throughout the ages, I feel compelled to speak out.’

He called for an independent investigation into what is happening in Xinjiang province in western China, where more than a million Uighurs are thought to have been sent to re-education camps since 2015.

In contrast to the Chief Rabbi, Christian leaders have been relatively silent. 

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has yet to speak on the subject. 

Pope Francis’s muted response has been linked to a deal to allow the recognition of Roman Catholic bishops in China.

More than one million Chinese Uighur Muslims are believed to be detained in so-called 're-education camps' in Xinjiang province. Pictured: Workers walk by the perimeter fence of one such facility [File photo]

More than one million Chinese Uighur Muslims are believed to be detained in so-called ‘re-education camps’ in Xinjiang province. Pictured: Workers walk by the perimeter fence of one such facility [File photo]

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