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Rubio calls out China for 'burning Bibles'
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Monday sharply rebuked China, saying it "burns Bibles" in a tweet responding to a report that indicated China's government is cracking down on Christian congregations.
Rubio accuses China of the act as well as detaining Muslims in "internment camps" while warning what life would be like if "our children ... inherit a world in which the most powerful country is one that burns bibles."
"Imagine what life would be like for our children if they inherit a world in which the most powerful country is one that burns bibles, ransacks Christian churches & rounds up & detains Muslims in internment camps," Rubio tweeted. "Because that is what #China is doing."
The Associated Press on Monday reported that China's government is seeking to drive citizens away from organized religion and toward the atheist Communist Party through scare tactics such as Bible-burning, shuttering churches, destroying crosses and forcing individuals to renounce their faith on paper.
A local official denied the reports of Bible burning to the AP and said that officials respected religious freedom.
"The international community should be alarmed and outraged for this blatant violation of freedom of religion and belief," Bob Fu, president of legal aid organization China Aid, told the AP. He added the events mark a "significant escalation" in the government's efforts to suppress Christianity.
Fu provided the AP with footage of what appeared to be burning Bibles and documents demanding people denounce their faith.
According to the AP, Chinese law says that religious worship can only happen in groups registered with the authorities. But there are many millions that go against those government restrictions.
China is also reportedly detaining more than a million members of Muslim minority groups in indoctrination camps where they are forced to profess loyalty to the Communist Party and renounce their affiliation with Islam.
Though China has denied the detainment of Muslims in its Xinjiang province, officials have admitted the camps are for "re-education" purposes.