China criticizes Pope Francis for comments on ‘persecuted’ Uighur Muslims

China condemned remarks Pope Francis made concerning the Chinese Communist Party’s treatment of Uighur Muslims in his new book, Let Us Dream.

“People of all ethnic groups enjoy the full rights of survival, development, and freedom of religious belief,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a daily briefing, according to ABC News. He added that Francis’s statement had “no factual basis at all.”

In his book, Francis included “poor Uighur” among those who have been persecuted for their faith.

“I think often of persecuted peoples,” the pope wrote. “The Rohingya, the poor Uyghurs,
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