World Uyghur Congress | 2019 Democracy Award Recipient
  • Tue, 05/28/2019 - 21:38

May 28, 2019

Founded in April 2004 in Munich, Germany, after the East Turkistan National Congress and the World Uyghur Youth Congress merged into one united organization, the World Uyghur Congress promotes democracy, human rights, and freedom for the Uyghur people and supports the use of peaceful, nonviolent, and democratic means to help Uyghurs achieve self-determination. World Uyghur Congress is the sole representative organization of the Uyghur people globally and has made crucial contributions in bringing attention to the CCP’s crushing campaign of physical, religious, linguistic, and cultural repression against the Uyghur people.

Since the Chinese Communist Party took power in 1949, the world has observed China’s brutal repression of religious and ethnic minorities. In the 60 years since the Dalai Lama was forced into exile, the Tibetan people have faced a systematic effort to destroy their culture, religion, and autonomy. More recently, reports have revealed the disturbing details of the China’s imprisonment of millions of Uyghurs from East Turkistan in modern-day concentration camps, where ordinary citizens are tortured and subject to relentless “assimilation” tactics, and outside the camps, the CCP has established an Orwellian police state. Similarly, persecution of independent Christians from the “house church” movement has skyrocketed, with pastors and congregants being detained and disappeared, and their churches defiled or destroyed. In the last ten years, China has ramped up efforts to eliminate any distinct religious or ethnic identity within its declared borders, devoting enormous resources to developing sophisticated tactics and new technologies.

The National Endowment for Democracy is proud to honor the efforts of three outstanding organizations that are confronting these authoritarian tactics on the front lines, empowering Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Chinese Christians with technical, financial, and moral support to defend their rights, preserve their culture, and live their faith amidst the daily assault on their very existence.

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The National Endowment for Democracy is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, NED makes more than 1,000 grants to support the projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries. Learn more at