A State Department official singled out China on Wednesday as one of the world’s worst offenders of religious freedom, saying it backslid the most last year as thousands more people of faith were subjected to imprisonment and forced labor.
The accusation by Sam Brownback, the ambassador of international religious freedom, represented the latest salvo in an exchange of recriminations between Washington and Beijing. In recent months, tensions have grown as the two countries have sparred over the coronavirus, Hong Kong, press freedoms and trade. China has accused the United States of hypocrisy amid nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd and other African Americans who have died in police custody, and the Trump administration’s response to massive demonstrations.
The State Department used Wednesday’s annual Report on International Religious Freedom to increase the crescendo of criticism of China, which has been designated a “country of particular concern” on religious freedom since 1999.
State Department rebukes China as one of the worst abusers of religious freedom https://t.co/wtlsLKiDlJ
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 10, 2020