By Zhong Cheng
In Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the right to freedom of religious belief is well protected and fully guaranteed. Religious service facilities have rights, such as establishing a democratic management organization, running internal affairs, organizing religious activities, receiving donations, managing and using property, and setting up social public welfare undertakings in accordance with law and regulations. The legitimate rights and interests of places for religious activities are protected by laws.
Islamic clerics have the right to preside over religious activities and ceremonies. They can accept donations from society and individuals. Citizens in religious places and citizens sticking to the religious customs in their homes carry out normal religious activities, such as worship, fasting and celebrating religious festivals. These activities are all managed by religious groups and citizens themselves.
In recent years, while adhering to the principle of independence and self-management of religious affairs, the Islamic Association of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has been engaged in the active communication and exchange with religious organizations around the world on the basis of mutual respect, equality and friendship, establishing, developing and strengthening friendly relations with overseas religious circles.
In 2016, famous religious figures from Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and other countries were invited to participate in the International Seminar on Moderate Thoughts of Islam in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang. In 2019, a delegation of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), as well as religious groups from Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan and other countries, were invited to visit Xinjiang. In March 2019, the Council of Foreign Ministers of OIC adopted a resolution commending China’s efforts in providing care to its Muslim citizens.
Since 2001, Xinjiang has sent more than 70 religious school students and clerical personnel to Egypt’s Al-Azhar University and Pakistan International Islamic University and other overseas institutions for further study, with a view to improve their religious knowledge and teaching level. Xinjiang has organized the China Xinjiang Cultural Exchange Group for exchanges with countries in the Middle East, Oceania and Europe. Xinjiang’s religious delegations have participated in the Chinese Islamic Culture Expo and Art Show hosted by the Islamic Association of China in Indonesia, Turkey and other countries, introducing the patriotism of Islam in China and its experiences in resisting the infiltration of religious extremism.
Great transparency: With great patience, China has time and again elaborated on the facts and truth regarding Xinjiang. China published eight white papers and Xinjiang held more than 20 press briefings to present through solid figures and facts a life of stability, solidarity and harmony enjoyed by all ethnic groups in the region. Languages, traditional cultures and customs of all ethnic minorities in Xinjiang have been well protected and inherited. There hasn’t been any case of violence or terrorism over the past four years.
China has made tremendous efforts to provide training opportunities and jobs for people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, so as to encourage, assist and support them in shaking off poverty and living a better life through diligence and hard work. During the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, the Chinese Government puts people and life as top priority and takes resolute measures to protect the safety and health of all people, including Uygurs, to the greatest extent possible.
In 2019, domestic and foreign travelers made over 200 million trips to Xinjiang. The region has received 1,200-plus diplomats, journalists and representatives of religious groups from more than 100 countries, who witnessed unity, amity and happiness among various ethnic groups as well as the scenic views of Xinjiang.
In order to help the U.S. understand the real situation in Xinjiang, the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. held the Xinjiang Is a Wonderful Land online meeting on May 6. China had extended an invitation to U.S. lawmakers and their aides to join in the event, but none of them showed up, even though these people keep talking about human rights in Xinjiang.
–The Daily Mail-Beijing Review News Exchange