Pope Francis.(Reuters)
Pope Francis.(Reuters)

Pope, for first time, says China’s Uighurs are ‘persecuted’

In the wide-ranging “Let Us Dream: The Path to A Better Future,” Francis also says the Covid-19 pandemic should spur governments to consider permanently establishing a universal basic income.
By Reuters | Posted by Shivani Kumar | Vatican
UPDATED ON NOV 24, 2020 04:35 AM IST

In a new book, Pope Francis for the first time calls China’s Muslim Uighurs a “persecuted” people, something human rights activists have been urging him to do for years.

In the wide-ranging “Let Us Dream: The Path to A Better Future,” Francis also says the Cobvid-19 pandemic should spur governments to consider permanently establishing a universal basic income.

In the book, a 150-page collaboration with his English-language biographer, Austen Ivereigh, Francis speaks of economic, social and political changes he says are needed to address inequalities after the pandemic ends. It goes on sale on Dec. 1.

He also says people who see wearing masks as an imposition by the state are “victims only in their imagination” and praises those who protested against the death of George Floyd in police custody for rallying around the “healthy indignation” that united them.

“I think often of persecuted peoples: the Rohingya, the poor Uighurs, the Yazidi,” he said in a section where he also talks about persecuted Christians in Islamic countries.

While the pope has spoken out before about the Rohingya who have fled Myanmar, and the killing of Yazidi by Islamic State in Iraq, it was the first time he mentioned the Uighurs.

Faith leaders, activist groups and governments have said crimes against humanity and genocide are taking place against Uighurs in China’s remote Xinjiang region, where more than 1 million people are held in camps.

Last month, during a conference at the Vatican, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted China over its treatment of Uighurs.

Beijing has rejected the allegations as a attempt to discredit China, saying the camps are vocational education and training centres as part of counter-terrorism and deradicalisation measures.

Many commentators have said the Vatican was reluctant to speak out on the Uighurs earlier because it was in the process of renewing a controversial accord with Beijing on the appointment of bishops. The accord, which Pompeo urged the Vatican to abandon, was renewed in September.

Francis also gives his clearest support to date in the book to universal basic income (UBI), a controversial policy espoused by some economists and sociologists in which governments give a fixed amount of money to each citizen with no conditions attached.

UBI was a cornerstone of the campaign of Andrew Yang last year during the Democratic presidential primaries in the United States.

“Recognising the value to society of the work of nonearners

is a vital part of our rethinking in the post-Covid world. That’s why I believe it is time to explore concepts like the universal basic income (UBI) ...” he said.

“By providing a universal basic income, we can free and enable people to work for the community in a dignified way,” he said.

Francis again criticised trickle-down economics, the theory favoured by conservatives that tax breaks and other incentives for big business and the wealthy eventually will benefit the rest of society through investment and job creation.

He called it “the false assumption of the infamous trickle-down theory that a growing economy will make us all richer.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said his five-year economic plan unveiled in 2016 had failed "tremendously" in almost every sector, though he praised workers for maintaining "stable situations" despite the coronavirus. (REUTERS)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said his five-year economic plan unveiled in 2016 had failed "tremendously" in almost every sector, though he praised workers for maintaining "stable situations" despite the coronavirus. (REUTERS)

North Korea's trade with China plunges 80% as Covid-19 lockdown bites

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 03:28 PM IST
China is North Korea's top ally and accounts for some 90% of its trade volumes. Two-way trade plummeted nearly 80.7% to $539 million last year from 2019, Chinese customs data released on Monday showed.
Close
After receiving her vaccination against the novel coronavirus, 90-year-old Odores H. sits under the domed roof of the vaccination centre in the Festhalle in Frankfurt, Germany,(AP)
After receiving her vaccination against the novel coronavirus, 90-year-old Odores H. sits under the domed roof of the vaccination centre in the Festhalle in Frankfurt, Germany,(AP)

Covid-19 pandemic could be source of global crises for years: WEF

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 03:26 PM IST
While the impact of the pandemic is dominant at the moment, other events will likely come to the fore, according to the survey.
Close
Worries over possible unrest or other security threats following the attack on the Congress earlier this month seem to have abated somewhat as investors study the implications for markets of further stimulus. (Representative Image)(Reuters/ File photo)
Worries over possible unrest or other security threats following the attack on the Congress earlier this month seem to have abated somewhat as investors study the implications for markets of further stimulus. (Representative Image)(Reuters/ File photo)

World shares mostly higher as Biden inauguration approaches

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 03:10 PM IST
Benchmarks were higher in Paris, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong but slipped in Shanghai. World markets were subdued on Monday, with US exchanges closed for a holiday.
Close
Trump intends to leave in the morning for his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, arriving before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.(REUTERS)
Trump intends to leave in the morning for his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, arriving before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.(REUTERS)

Trump leaves town an outcast, trailed by Covid-19 pandemic, joblessness

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 03:03 PM IST
The last president who chose not to attend his successor’s inauguration was Andrew Johnson in 1869, another impeached leader.
Close
A member of the medical team administers a coronavirus Covid-19 vaccine shot at the NHS vaccination centre in Robertson House in Stevenage, north of London on January 14, 2021 (Photo by Leon Neal / POOL / AFP)(AFP)
A member of the medical team administers a coronavirus Covid-19 vaccine shot at the NHS vaccination centre in Robertson House in Stevenage, north of London on January 14, 2021 (Photo by Leon Neal / POOL / AFP)(AFP)

British hospitals use blockchain to track Covid-19 vaccines

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 02:59 PM IST
Two hospitals, in central England's Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick, are expanding their use of a distributed ledger, an offshoot of blockchain, from tracking vaccines and chemotherapy drugs to monitoring fridges storing Covid-19 vaccines.
Close
Threats to President-elect Joe Biden’s security prompted him to scrap his plan to travel to Washington on an Amtrak train.(AP)
Threats to President-elect Joe Biden’s security prompted him to scrap his plan to travel to Washington on an Amtrak train.(AP)

Inauguration day: Biden arrival in Washington framed by division, heavy security

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 02:57 PM IST
Biden will spend the night at Blair House, the guest residence across the street from the White House.
Close
The city reported 56 new infections on Tuesday, of which 55 are local cases and 23 are untraceable, government officials said at a health department briefing Tuesday afternoon.(Bloomberg Photo)
The city reported 56 new infections on Tuesday, of which 55 are local cases and 23 are untraceable, government officials said at a health department briefing Tuesday afternoon.(Bloomberg Photo)

Hong Kong set to extend pandemic control measures amid surging infections

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 02:50 PM IST
The moves come after the Asian financial hub reported 107 daily Covid-19 infections on Monday, the most in a month, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam told a weekly news briefing Tuesday morning.
Close
Russia has rejected calls from the US and European governments to release Navalny.(via REUTERS)
Russia has rejected calls from the US and European governments to release Navalny.(via REUTERS)

Jailed Kremlin critic Navalny urges West to impose sanctions on Putin allies

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 02:47 PM IST
Navalny identified eight people as potential targets for punitive measures, including billionaire Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich.
Close
A supporter of US President Donald Trump leaves a note in the office of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.(AFP)
A supporter of US President Donald Trump leaves a note in the office of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.(AFP)

Police arrest woman accused of laptop theft from Pelosi's office

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 02:41 PM IST
FBI officials said a caller claiming to be an ex of Williams said friends of hers showed him a video of her taking a laptop computer or hard drive from Pelosi's office.
Close
Angela Merkel (File Photo)(Reuters Photo)
Angela Merkel (File Photo)(Reuters Photo)

Germany's Merkel, state leaders ponder tougher virus rules

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 01:56 PM IST
The country's infection rate has stabilized in recent days, indicating that existing restrictions may have been effective in bringing down the numbers.
Close
On Monday, the Japanese Health Ministry said that the three cases were recorded in Shizuoka among people aged between 20 and 70.(Reuters)
On Monday, the Japanese Health Ministry said that the three cases were recorded in Shizuoka among people aged between 20 and 70.(Reuters)

Japan's Shizuoka Prefecture to introduce alert mode over UK Covid-19 variant

ANI, Tokyo
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 01:55 PM IST
The Japanese government has already declared a state of emergency in 11 of the 47 prefectures, which will last through February 7.
Close
FILE PHOTO: Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn looks on while greeting royalists at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand November 1, 2020. REUTERS/Jorge Silva/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn looks on while greeting royalists at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand November 1, 2020. REUTERS/Jorge Silva/File Photo(REUTERS)

Thailand court gives record 43-year sentence for insulting king

AP, Bangkok
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 01:25 PM IST
Violating Thailand's lese majeste law — known widely as Article 112 — is punishable by three to 15 years’ imprisonment per count.
Close
Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers assembling during military training at Pamir Mountains in Kashgar, northwestern China's Xinjiang region on January 4. (AFP)
Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers assembling during military training at Pamir Mountains in Kashgar, northwestern China's Xinjiang region on January 4. (AFP)

PLA holds Tibet drill to smoothen joint ops amid border friction with India

By Sutirtho Patranobis , edited by Vinod Janardhanan
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 01:07 PM IST
The exercise involved ground assault forces as well as the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) aviation unit, which deployed attack helicopters for the drill, China’s official military media reported.
Close
Joe Biden's nominee for national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, told CNN that the new administration would support “diplomacy” with the Taliban.(Reuters)
Joe Biden's nominee for national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, told CNN that the new administration would support “diplomacy” with the Taliban.(Reuters)

Taliban calls Joe Biden to honor deal to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan

Bloomberg
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 12:34 PM IST
“Steps must now be taken to end the war, not to prolong it, and the agreement was made for the purpose,” Mohammad Naeem, a senior spokesman in the Taliban’s political office in Doha, said.
Close
US First Lady Melania Trump smiles to US President Donald Trump at theWhite House on August 27, 2020 . (AFP file)
US First Lady Melania Trump smiles to US President Donald Trump at theWhite House on August 27, 2020 . (AFP file)

Here is how Trump, the least liked US president, will spend his last day in office

By Yashwant Raj, Edited by Vinod Janardhanan
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 02:27 PM IST
Trump presidency’s average approval rating of 41% is the lowest recorded by Gallup, which has tracked American presidents daily for decades
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP