News Home » World » 'Genocide Olympics': Activists Decry China's Human Rights Abuses, Call for Global Prayer Movement Ahead of 2022 Games

Around the World

'Genocide Olympics': Activists Decry China's Human Rights Abuses, Call for Global Prayer Movement Ahead of 2022 Games

Randy Mancini 8 Feb 2

Some human rights groups are calling this week's Olympics scheduled to start on Friday in Beijing the “Genocide Games.” 

China is accused of holding more than 1 million ethnic Muslims in concentration camps while continuing to severely restrict religious freedom and trample on human rights. 

"They have oppressed basically every dissent in China,” Wu’er Kaixi told AP. 

Kaixi is Uyghur, and at just 21-years-old, he fled China for his leading role in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. 

"It's a country that uses Olympic as a platform to show muscle to the world, while they're at the same time oppressing dissent and violating human rights within their own country,” he said. 

The Chinese government has denied all accusations of any human rights abuse.

"It creates a situation of plausible denial. It calls these concentration camps vocational training centers to eliminate poverty in the region, to eliminate terror among Muslims, which is absolutely laughable,” says Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute. “Our military is estimated 1 to 3 million of these Muslims have been incarcerated for indoctrination in these camps."

The United States, along with the U.K., Australia and Canada, are staging diplomatic boycotts of the Games by not sending government officials in protest of Beijing's human rights abuses. 

"We must show that the United States is [an] unyielding and unapologetic advocate for human rights and unafraid of speaking the truth and upsetting General Secretary Xi and his Communist Party thugs,” says Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL).

Activists are urging athletes and sponsors to speak out during the games.

"Your silence is their strength. This is what they want more than anything: that the world will play by China's rules, that we will follow China's lead, that we will look away from these atrocities and crimes for the sake of business as usual,” says Lhadon Tethong of the Tibet Action Institute. 

Meanwhile, it's business as usual as Beijing continues its typical crackdown on political and religious activists ahead of sensitive dates, like Friday's opening ceremonies.

"They round up the dissidents and known critics of the regime or people that they think will speak out, they put them in detention, they're called black jails, they are hidden detentions, it's unofficial, it's extrajudicial, and they do that as a pre-emptive strike so that there is no opportunity to protest,” says Shea. 

With the eyes of the world turning toward Beijing, Voice of the Martyrs is launching PrayforChina2022.com to remind people to pray for China's Christians. 

"Christians are seen as a threat, their message is seen as a threat, and the government is doing everything in their power to keep that message from spreading,” says Todd Nettleton, Voice of the Martyrs’ Chief of Media Relations. 

China's President Xi Jinping has severely suppressed religious freedom in recent years, especially going after Christians.

China sits at number 17 on Open Doors' World Watch List of the 50 most dangerous countries for Christians.

"China is using a blanket of surveillance monitored by artificial intelligence to watch the movements of people of faith. It's even using facial recognition to monitor those who enter places of worship,” says Open Doors President David Curry.

Thus far, thousands from more than 100,000 countries have pledged to pray during the Olympic games.

"We're going to see figure skating, we're going to see ski jumping. We'll probably see a lot of great shots of the Great Wall of China. We want every one of those things to be a reminder. 'Hey, I have Christian brothers and sisters in China who are suffering because of the name of Jesus Christ.' This is a great time to pray for them,” says Nettleton.