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Uyghur followers of Christ announce goal to reach China’s Xinjiang region with the Gospel

by Premier Journalist
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Meeting over the weekend in Westminster, a group of Uyghur followers of Christ have announced their aim of reaching China’s north-eastern Xinjiang region with the Gospel.

Members at the conference included converts to Christianity from Islam who say their new association, the World Uyghur Christian Union, will reach out to China’s majority Han ethnic group.

In recent years, the mostly Muslim Uyghur people have been targeted by Beijing’s communist regime, the CCP, through increasingly repressive measures. These have included incarcerating millions of Uyghurs in detention camps in the desert, some with long prison sentences.

China says the camps are ‘re-education centres’ aimed at ‘de-radicalising’ the local Muslim population. But there is widely corroborated evidence of punishments, sexual torture and deaths in the camps.

“Our purpose is to be reconciled with Chinese people, not the Communist party”, conference organiser Dr Enver Tohti told Premier Christian News. “We are human beings as much as anyone else and we have done nothing wrong. But it was the CCP's strategy to justify their existence, their rule”, he added.

“Our mission is to tell Chinese people that we are not such terrible people as they think”, Dr Tohti explained.

As a convert to faith in Christ himself, after reading the Bible and experiencing direct touches from the Holy Spirit whilst working in a Chinese hospital, Dr Tohti says the people of the region Uyghurs call East Turkestan are ready to move on from ‘hatred’: “In Christianity, Jesus Christ teaches us to learn how to love. And that is what we need”, he said.

Papers given by Uyghur, English and American academic visitors to the conference, called the “Uyghur Quest for the Gospel” set out evidence that Central Asia had once included significant numbers of Christians for over 1400 years after the Gospel came to the region from Jerusalem.

Former Conservative MP and Christian David Burrowes, brought a message of encouragement from the Prime Minister’s Envoy for Religion and Freedom of Belief, Fiona Bruce MP.

Speaking to the gathering, Burrowes said "the double persecution of being Uyghur and Christian is why we are gathered here today. We must not allow the attention of the world to move on from Xinjiang. China would no doubt want that but this conference reminds us that it must not happen.”

Urging the group to follow the advice of anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce to ‘pray, pray, pray’, David Burrowes said that in the face of persecution, Uyghurs should flee to the throne of God’s mercy and grace: “God looks at the world he has made and what does he see? He sees in UK and China - godlessness and wickedness, people who suppress the truth by their wickedness”, he said.

“Our world hangs under the wrath of God. But remember he is a God of mercy. He sees the desperate need. So our merciful God has acted on our behalf”, he continued.

“When we cry out ‘who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?’ There is an answer - Thanks be to God who delivers me us through Jesus Christ Our Lord”, he said.

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