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Open Doors USA CEO urges Christians to boycott Beijing Olympics

Olympics, China
The Olympic Rings are seen inside one of the Athletes Villages for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics before the area was closed on January 3, 2022, in Chongli county, Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, northern China. The area, which will host ski and snowboard events during the Winter Olympics and Paralympics was closed off to all tourists and visitors as of January 4, 2022, and will be part of the bubble due to the global coronavirus pandemic for athletes, journalists and officials taking part in the games. The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are set to open February 4. |

The CEO of a leading religious freedom advocacy organization is urging Christians in the United States to boycott the upcoming Winter Olympics scheduled to take place in Beijing, China, due to the country’s persecution of Christians and other religious minorities.

David Curry, CEO of the religious persecution watchdog Open Doors USA, discussed the actions taken by the Chinese government against Christians and other religious minorities at a press conference unveiling the organization’s 2022 World Watch List on Wednesday.

While Open Doors USA ranked China 17th among the “top 50 countries where it's most difficult to follow Jesus,” Curry dedicated a significant portion of the press conference to highlighting the religious persecution perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party.

Curry also addressed the 2022 Winter Olympics scheduled to kick off in Beijing on Feb. 4. He cited the upcoming Olympics as “one example of how China is using sports, money and investment in infrastructure around the world to whitewash their human rights violations.”

While Curry praised the Biden administration’s diplomatic boycott of the Olympics, he stressed that every Christian in the United States had an obligation to go a step further.

“Open Doors USA … is calling on every Christian to join this boycott of the Olympics in the name of our persecuted brothers and sisters in China.” He acknowledged that the persecution of religious minorities extends beyond Christians to include Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group in the country’s far-western region that the Chinese Communist Party subjects to forced labor.

Curry elaborated on his call for a boycott in response to a question from a reporter. “I am suggesting that people don’t watch the Olympics, that they don’t participate in whatever way they normally would,” he said. While Curry lamented China’s human rights records, particularly regarding religious minorities, he defended Open Doors USA’s decision not to place China higher on the list of the top 50 most dangerous countries for Christians.

“What’s not happening and ... why it is lower is because they’re not lining people up and shooting them, at least that we’re aware of,” he added. “That’s happening in some places.”

Curry expressed particular concern about China’s use of “centralized government control to suppress and exterminate the free practice of religion of all kinds.” Curry added, “China’s high-tech noose is slowly choking the free expression of Christian faith and the faith of Muslims and other religious minorities.”

“China is using a blanket of surveillance monitored by artificial intelligence to watch the movements of people of faith. It’s even using facial recognition to monitor those who enter places of worship,” he explained. “China recently implemented additional restrictions on Christian Bibles and literature online, for example. Only groups that recognize the Communist Party of China and their censorship of their sermons and Bibles will be allowed to distribute the Scripture.”

Curry warned that in the near future, “100 million followers of Jesus in China will be subjected to Bibles that have key elements removed or changed because they conflict with communist dogma.” He also reported that “churches are being forced to disband and break into small pieces or go underground” and attributed the government’s hostility toward religion to the fact that “President Xi and the Communist Party sees religion as a threat because it’s not aligned with the values of the Chinese state.”

Additionally, Curry discussed the implications of China’s development of “a blueprint … for how a government … can centralize control and monitor behavior of people can squeeze … and punish people without them ever leaving their home.” He predicted that China would establish digital currencies in the near future, “which would cut off the ability of Christians and others who do not conform to the government the ability to do anything, even buy a loaf of bread.”

Curry is not the only public figure calling for a boycott of the 2022 Olympics. Fox News' opinion host Laura Ingraham has launched the #NotOneMinute campaign, urging her viewers to watch “not one minute” of this year’s Olympics. Ingraham is also encouraging her viewers to boycott the corporations that are sponsoring the 2022 Beijing Olympics, including Airbnb, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Panasonic, Samsung, Toyota and Visa.

The complete World Watch List of 2022 is available for purchase on the Open Doors USA website. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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