sanctions 27 May 2021

Moore sanctioned as China retaliates for US religion report

China has sanctioned a commissioner for the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (‘USCIRF’), Johnnie Moore, in response to the recently released US Report on International Religious Freedom – and the accompanying sanctions imposed on a Chinese official.

At a 26 May press conference, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian said:

‘This so-called report from the US side, in disregard of facts and fraught with ideological bias, has unscrupulously denigrated China’s religious policy and severely interfered in China’s internal affairs. China firmly rejects this.

‘In response to the US blatant move to endorse cults and impose unilateral sanctions on Chinese personnel based on lies and disinformation, China decides to sanction Johnnie Moore … The individual concerned and his family members are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China.

‘China urges the US side to rectify its mistake, rescind the so-called sanctions and stop interfering China’s internal affairs in the name of religious issues.’