Saperstein: “We call on the Chinese government to respect the rights of the Tibetan people and on the international community to continue to engage in bringing an end to decades of oppression in Tibet.”
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WASHINGTON, D.C., March 10, 2009 – On the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising and in response to the increased Chinese military presence in Tibet, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
The apparent institution of de facto martial law in Tibet is deeply troubling. In Tibet, China has silenced peaceful protests stifled calls for autonomy, and refused to speak to or negotiate with the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s religious and spiritual leader. Other abuses continue, including bans on certain religious services and the detainment of peaceful protesters.
As Jews, we are particularly sensitive to the Tibetan struggle for religious and political freedom. We are taught to “Remember the stranger, for we were strangers in the land of Egypt,” and so we must rise up against tyranny and oppression in our own time.
On the 50th anniversary of the failed Tibetan uprising that led to the Dalai Lama’s exile, we call on the Chinese government to respect the rights of the Tibetan people and on the international community to continue to engage in bringing an end to decades of oppression in Tibet.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis.