Pope Francis refers to Uighur Muslims as a 'persecuted' group for the first time

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Nov 24, 2020, 08:25 AM(IST)

Pope Francis (File photo) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

In a new book titled “Let Us Dream: The Path to A Better Future”, Francis also urged world governments to set up a universal minimum wage, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19. The book includes a 150-page collaboration with Austen Ivereigh, Pope’s English language biographer

For the first time, Pope Francis has referred to Muslim Uighurs in China as a “persecuted” community.

In a new book titled “Let Us Dream: The Path to A Better Future”, Francis also urged world governments to set up a universal minimum wage, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19. The book includes a 150-page collaboration with Austen Ivereigh, Pope’s English language biographer.

"I think often of persecuted peoples: the Rohingya, the poor Uighurs, the Yazidi," he said in a section. He also addressed the persecution of Christians in Islamic countries. This marked the first time that the Pope mentioned Uighurs. He has spoked about Myanmar’s Rohingya and Iraq’s Yazidi on earlier occasions.

Also read: Pompeo says China treatment of Uighurs 'gravest threat' to religious freedom

The Pope spoke about economic, social, and political changes which he says are required to address inequalities after the end of this pandemic. The book is set to go on sale on December 1. He also out at anti-maskers, and claimed that those who perceived masks as an imposition from the state are “victims only in their imagination”.

Pope Francis also praised those who protested against the death of George Floyd, who was killed by White police officers in the United States.  According to activist groups and governments, China is holding 1 million Uighur Muslims in camps in Xinjiang, where crimes against humanity and genocide is taking place.

Also read: Apple rallying against bill to stop forced Uighur labour

China claims that the camps are education centres and are part of the country’s deradicalisation efforts.

Pope Francis also criticised trickle-down economics, whereby the basic belief is that tax breaks and incentives for wealthy businesses will eventually benefit society and create jobs.

He referred to it as “the false assumption of the infamous trickle-down theory that a growing economy will make us all richer”.

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