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US evangelical leader Johnnie Moore sanctioned by China for religious freedom advocacy

China sanctioned a United States private citizen and evangelical leader on Wednesday for exposing human rights abuses and standing up for the religious freedom of Uyghur Muslims, Christians and other minority faith groups that are being silenced and oppressed. 

Rev. Johnnie Moore, a two-time commissioner who served on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and president of the Congress of Christian Leaders, said it is an “honor” to be sanctioned by China because of his advocacy for people of oppressed minority faiths. 

“If the cost of sanctioning Chinese officials responsible for human rights abuses in China is the sanctioning of activists like me, then I say, ‘fine, I am more than happy to be sanctioned,’” Moore told The Christian Post in an interview on Thursday. 

Moore, a public relations executive and a former Liberty University vice president, said there is “no better compliment for a human rights activist to actually get under the skin of those you are calling to change.”

“It’s literally millions of people like me around the world who are saying in one clear voice, ‘we love China, we love the Chinese people,’” he said. “‘We understand it is a certain type of political system. But these types of behaviors are not the types of behaviors we’re willing to accept in the modern world, and we’re going to be unrelenting.’ And clearly, [China is] paying attention.”

As a human rights advocate who shines a light on atrocities, it sometimes seems to go unnoticed. But for China, Moore said it has become “increasingly clear” that the government is “noticing that the tide of the world is finally turning against them in this regard. They are deeply, deeply concerned about it.”

“It is an honor to be sanctioned by the Chinese Communist Party for giving my voice to the Uyghur Muslims, Christians [including Jimmy Lai], Tibetan Buddhists & countless others the CCP tries to silence every day,” he shared in a tweet

Moore called his ability to freely advocate for the oppressed “a privilege of living in the United States, the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

“The CCP doesn’t understand the difference between ‘the truth’ and a ‘lie’ but here’s some truth we know: they are weaker than they want us to believe that they are,” Moore continued. “A global coalition is building to hold them to account and it transcends political parties and U.S. administrations. This Great Wall of Collaboration is a promise to future generations that we will not hand our world to the CCP to victimize the innocent as they please.”