FIRST ON FOX: House China Select Committee Chairman Mike Gallagher is expected to warn that the Chinese Communist Party is “desperate to crush religion,” and is using it “as a tool to control people’s minds,” while declaring that the “opposite of Communism is faith in God.”
Gallagher, R-Wis., will speak at the National Prayer Breakfast opening dinner Wednesday night.
Gallagher will share a story about a young graduate student from China who opposes the CCP. When asked why the student opposed it, the student answered: “I have faith,” according to Gallagher’s prepared remarks obtained by Fox News Digital.
That student told Gallagher the CCP is “hell bent on destroying faith.”
“If they can stamp out our belief in anything greater, he said, life becomes about nothing more than the incentives the party can offer and the punishments it can deliver. This is the Chinese Communist Party’s goal,” Gallagher will say.
Gallagher is expected to explain that the CCP has “the most powerful propaganda and censorship system in history to control everything that is read and said.”
“And that is why, as this young Chinese man explained, the CCP is desperate to crush religion. Because the very concept of an individual with dignity and worth must be destroyed, and religion is its most vehement defender,” Gallagher is expected to recall.
Gallagher is expected to point to the millions of Uyghurs and other religious minorities the CCP have sent to “re-education camps.”
“The genocide against the Uyghur people includes the largest internment of an ethno-religious minority since the Holocaust,” Gallagher will say.
Gallagher will say that Chinese President Xi Jinping “has no problem with the first commandment, just so long as he and the CCP are playing the role of God.”
Meanwhile, Gallagher is expected to claim that the CCP has “managed, through a secret 2018 deal with the Pope, to control the nomination of Catholic bishops — in practice, tantamount to appointing them.”
“Avowedly atheist party members in Beijing notify the Vatican of their choices; Francis provides a rubber stamp — a shocking way to decide upon the consecrated successors to Jesus’ apostles,” Gallagher will say.
Gallagher is expected to slam the Pope for “capitulation,” saying it has been “a disaster for other faiths in China.”
The Vatican last year accused China of violating an international agreement and appointing a bishop in a diocese not recognized by the Holy See.
“It was with surprise and regret that the Holy See learned of the news of the ‘installation ceremony’ that took place on 24 November in Nanchang, of H.E. Bishop Giovanni Peng Weizhao, Bishop of Yujiang (Jiangxi Province), as ‘Auxiliary Bishop of Jiangxi’, a diocese not recognized by the Holy See,” the Vatican said in a statement last year.
The installation of the bishop would be one of the most serious violations of China’s pact with the Vatican, which was originally signed in 2018.
The agreement has been roundly panned by international observers who have accused the Catholic Church of caving to China’s communist government.
Despite those critiques, the Vatican renewed the deal with the Chinese Communist Party last month, inviting renewed backlash.
But the Vatican also expressed a willingness to continue working with the Chinese government if the Chinese Communist Party sticks to the terms of the 2018 agreement.
“The Holy See hopes that similar episodes will not be repeated, is awaiting the appropriate communication about the matter from the Authorities, and reaffirms its complete willingness to continue the respectful dialogue concerning all of the matters of common interest,” the statement said.
But Gallagher is expected to discuss what the “opposite of communism” is.
“Maybe the opposite of Communism isn’t a political-economic system at all, because Communism itself is not a political-economic system. It is a perverted, inverse religion, an all-consuming ideology imposed not by free belief but by force and indoctrination,” he is expected to say. “Its churches are the labor camps, the gulags, the reeducation centers. Its confession booths are torture chambers. Its priests are the censors, the propagandists, the secret police.
“Maybe the opposite of Communism is faith in God.”
Communism “seeks domination. Faith seeks love,” Gallagher will add.
“Communism seeks the obliteration of the individual on the altar of the collective. Faith seeks the dignity of the individual, the respect due to each and every one of us as a child of God,” he’ll say. “Faith seeks the elevation of man’s soul. Communism seeks its abasement.”
Gallagher is also expected to stress that the United States’ long-term “strategic competition” with the CCP is “not a test of different socio-economic systems. It is a struggle for souls.”