April 26, 2022

Persecution Leaves Uyghurs Desperate for Hope

Mihrigül, a young Uyghur woman and follower of Jesus living in China, received an unexpected call to report to the local police station. Her roommate and close friend, a Han Chinese missionary, accompanied her to the station.

But Mihrigül never came home. Instead, she was sent away against her will like many thousands of other Uyghurs. China’s government says they are going to “vocational training centers,” but these centers are actually vast political indoctrination camps where Muslims are “de-radicalized” while laboring for long hours on goods sold for export to North America and elsewhere.

Traumatized by the ordeal, the Han missionary abandoned her mission and left the field.

China’s western region of Xinjiang is home to 13 million Uyghurs, most of whom identify as Muslims. Mihrigül is a Christian, but China’s mass campaign of imprisonment doesn’t register such details. Its sole object is to weaken the hold of traditional culture and turn people’s loyalty from God to the state.

More than one million people have been imprisoned, representing the largest arbitrary detention of religious and ethnic minorities since the Jewish Holocaust during World War II.

Uyghurs and other Muslim Turkic minorities in the region are reeling, while much of the outside world remains ignorant of their suffering.

Some are coping with the cultural upheaval and the constant fear of falling afoul of the authorities and enduring forced separation from family by secularizing. Most suffer in silence, ignorant of the Deliverer, the source of comfort, hope, and peace.

Pray that the governments of the world will hold the Chinese accountable for their imprisonment of innocent Uyghurs.

  • Ask God to bring good from the Uyghurs’ affliction (Gen. 50:20).
  • Pray for Han Chinese believers to seek opportunities to reach Uyghurs who have “graduated” from the prison programs and now labor in Chinese factories.
  • Ask God to cause the Uyghur church to flourish (Psalm 50:15).


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