WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler’s (R-Mo.) legislation to combat the persecution of Christians and other religious groups in China passed through the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s markup and now heads to the House Floor. H.R. 4821 would hold accountable senior officials of the Chinese Communist Party who are responsible for persecuting Christians in China and other religious groups.
“Across China, the Chinese Communist Party is disgracefully committing human rights abuses and persecuting Christians for simply practicing their faith. This is unacceptable and must end,” Hartzler said. “My work as a commissioner on the Congressional-Executive Committee on China has made it clear that legislation such as the Combating the Persecution of Christians in China Act is needed to push back on these attacks towards individuals of faith within the nation.”
Actions taken by China against Christians include the closing and destruction of churches, installing surveillance equipment on church property, arbitrarily detaining and torturing those who practice the Christian faith, and forcing the modification of Christian teachings to conform with the objectives of the Chinese Communist Party.
Specifically, this legislation would:
Impose sanctions on individuals responsible for the persecution of Christians in China.
Ensure trade negotiations with China include religious freedom conditions.
Require the State Department to use available funds to support efforts to protect and promote religious freedom in China.
Encourage the State Department to redesignate China as a “country of particular concern.”
Express the sense of Congress that the United States should host the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom once every two years.
Hartzler, along with her colleagues on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, were collectively sanctioned for their efforts combating Chinese human rights abuses.
View the committee markup summary here.