- - Monday, June 27, 2022

There is a war afoot that demands a response from all Americans of faith. Unlike Russia’s war in Ukraine, this one is waged in secret. It is a war against the children of Abraham. Whether the victims are Christians, Muslims or Jews, this war is against those who believe there is just one God.

The new Axis of Terror wages this war. At the head is the Chinese Communist Party and its leader, Xi Jinping. What does Mr. Xi believe? Like all communists, he’s a Marxist and atheist. He has required that all 95 million Chinese Communist Party members be atheists too.

Though Mr. Xi does not support organized faith in God, he demands that Chinese citizens hold devout “faith” in Marxism. Mr. Xi wants to elevate Marxism to higher than just a political philosophy. He seeks to place it as a dominant religion entirely. However, the faith of Marxism is responsible for tens of millions of victims during the 20th century at the hands of evil men like Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong.

Mr. Xi is Marxism’s latest prophet. He even has his own scripture that every student in China must study, called “Xi Jinping Thought.” He has become so powerful that, like the emperors of Egypt and Rome in the millennia past, he seeks to be treated as a god on Earth. He wants to be worshipped, as evidenced by CCP officials placing his picture in every office and every home in China.

The Chinese Communist Party seeks to eliminate religious competition and brainwash the minds of all those who don’t see Mr. Xi as a god. He started this campaign like every dictator does: with regulation. His first decree was that every religious official must “uphold the CCP’s leadership” and “uphold the socialist system.” He determined that those who place their trust in God must first answer to Marxism and the Chinese Communist Party.

Like Nazi Germany, the concentration camps came next. The CCP placed between 1 and 2 million Muslim Uyghurs in brutal reeducation camps in the Xinjiang province. There, men, women, and young children are brutally tortured, sterilized and then brainwashed. For hours a day, they must repeat slogans like “Long Live Xi Jinping” and “I am grateful to Xi Jinping for saving us from poverty.” The CCP forces them to give up their faith and beats them at the mere sight of prayer.

CCP guards forcibly abort Uyghur women’s children, guided by the evil desire to eliminate Uyghur culture and people from the earth. One woman was six and a half months pregnant when she and eight other pregnant women were rounded up, forced to take pills, and had needles mercilessly inserted into their wombs.

When I was State Department spokesperson, I was visibly pregnant with my daughter Adina, who is the light of my life. The thought that any government could come and kill the child inside me makes me sick. We had to fight against career government bureaucrats on this issue for a long time, but under former President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, we called these crimes against humanity by their true name: genocide.

As a Jewish woman, the Holocaust is a living example that we must take action against human rights atrocities, or we could be next. China has reserved their worst treatment for Muslims now, but they are quickly moving to Christians. Eighty million Christians live in China, and the Chinese Communist Party subjects these believers to every type of abuse and persecution.

Four years ago, China banned the sale of the Bible online. Now, Christians can only buy the Bible through the Chinese government, and I can assure you it’s not the same one in church pews across America. These books place CCP dogma above God’s wisdom. China replaced independent churches with government-run propaganda centers. In these fake churches, sacred scripture and the Ten Commandments are censored and replaced by “Xi Jinping thought.”

One Chinese pastor had a picture of Jesus in his church. State officials stormed the building and replaced the picture with one of Mr. Xi. You may know some of these stories, or perhaps you know worse ones yourself. But I’m here to warn you that it will get worse. This war against religion is spreading beyond China’s borders.

Over the last few years, the Chinese Communist Party has infiltrated and now completely subsumed Hong Kong. Hong Kong was the freest place in Asia, characterized by thriving communities of faith and free enterprise. When China took control of Hong Kong, they started by cracking down on newspapers, then on freedom of assembly, then on speech, and now on religious freedom.

Last month, the CCP arrested Cardinal Joseph Zen who served as the Catholic Bishop of Hong Kong. His crime: Supporting the free practice of faith. There are nearly a million Catholics and other Christians living in Hong Kong who may soon see Jesus forcibly replaced with Mr. Xi on the altar.

But what’s after Hong Kong? Mr. Xi says that “reunification” with Taiwan must be fulfilled, with all signs pointing to a military invasion. If the Chinese Communist Party takes over Taiwan, religious freedom will die there too. There are 23 million people living peacefully in Taiwan today, more than the population of Florida. There are 2,845 Christian churches in Taiwan.

China’s ambition to grow into a superpower isn’t only about increasing its political power, it’s also about wiping out every ideology and every religion that poses a threat to the Chinese Communist Party, Marxism and the cult of Xi Jinping. That includes the ideals of freedom and faith in God that we hold dear in the United States.

China can’t complete this mission alone. Just like Nazi Germany, China has allies in Russia and Iran. Even if those regimes believe very different things, they are aligned in at least two respects: they hate America and they hate religious freedom.

China helps prop up the radical Iranian regime, led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Though he calls himself a defender of Muslims, Mr. Khamenei is completely silent about the plight of the millions of Muslims in Chinese concentration camps. That makes more sense when you remember that his brutal regime massacred 1,500 Iranians — many of them Muslim — who dared take to the streets in protest two years ago.

The fact is: Mr. Khamenei doesn’t care about Muslims, he cares about power. But he’s also intent on killing and threatening Jews and Christians. In Iran, countless Christian converts have been flogged dozens of times for taking communion. One pastor was just sent to prison for 10 years for the crime of promoting Christianity.

Mr. Putin’s persecution of any religion he can’t control has only deepened. Russia banned four different evangelical churches last August. Nearly a thousand Russians were set to be imprisoned last year for their religious beliefs. And just like Nazi Germany did, Russia particularly targets Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The forces of Marxism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism are at war against God because dictators cannot tolerate the idea that some people answer to God before they answer to a government.

Unfortunately, since President Biden has come to office, it looks like America is losing this war. Afghanistan is now in the Taliban’s hands. We are closer than ever to losing Ukraine to Russia. Taiwan might be the next to fall. Israel could soon face the threat of nuclear extinction from Iran.

The common thread in all these travesties rests on authoritarians seeking power as an end in itself — and destroying anything in their way. People of faith will always refuse to recognize this power, and in doing so, become the first victims of oppression. That is why it’s more important than ever to recognize the only true antidote to cults of power: faith and freedom.

• Morgan Ortagus is the founder of POLARIS National Security PAC. She previously served as the spokesperson for the United States at the Department of State under Secretary Mike Pompeo.

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