In a new book, Pope Francis calls Callina’s Uygars “persecuted” for the first time, something human rights activists have been urging them to do for years.
In the broader form of “Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future”, Francis also states that the COVID-19 epidemic should prompt governments to consider permanently establishing a universal basic income.
In the book, a 150-page collaboration with his English-language biographer Austen Ivreigh, Francis speaks of economic, social, and political changes that he says need to address inequalities after the epidemic ends. It goes on sale on 1 December.
He also says that those who wear masks as imposing by the state “only suffer in their imagination” and praise those who rally in police custody to rally around “healthy outrage” George Floyd Protested against the killing of.
“I think there are often persecuted people: Rohingya, poor Uygars, Yazidis,” he said in a section where he also talks about persecuted Christians in Islamic countries.
While the pope has spoken about the Rohingya who fled to Myanmar, and the assassination of Yazidi by the Islamic State in Iraq, it was the first time he had mentioned the Uygars.
Faith leaders, activist groups and governments have said that crimes against humanity and genocide are taking place against a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority in China’s remote Xinjiang region, where more than 1 million people live in camps.
During a conference at the Vatican last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted China over its treatment of the Uygars.
Some commentators have stated that the Vatican had previously hesitated to speak on the Uygars as it was in the process of renewing a controversial agreement with Beijing over the appointment of bishops.
The agreement, which Pompeo urged the Vatican to abdicate, was renewed in September.
Beijing has dismissed allegations of attempting to discredit China, stating that the camps are at vocational education and training centers as part of counter-terrorism and eradication measures.