East Turkestan: World Uyghur Congress Expresses Condolences to The Death of Pope John Paul II
“I am deeply saddened by the death of Pope because he was a man of faith, peace, tolerance, and nonviolence, and a friend of world’s oppressed,” said Erkin Alptekin, president of WUC.
“As a Pope, he tried very hard to establish a mutual understanding between all existing religions in the world, particularly between Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. He believed that the prime duty of the great faiths of the world is to establish real friendship, not only between their own followers, but also between themselves and the followers of their faiths as well.”
According to the Vatican, the Pope died from septic shock and cardiocirculatory collapse at the age of 84 on Saturday. Upon hearing his death, people from all faiths and nations joined the Catholics in remembering him and his life. Pope John Paul II, whose real name is Karol Jozef Wojtyla, was born in Wadowice, Poland in 1920. He is the first foreign-born pope in the history of the Roman Catholic Church. He became the Pope of the Catholic Church in 1978 at the height of the Cold War between the free world led by the United States and the utopian communist states led by the Soviet Union.
According to CNN, Pope John Paul II, as one of the Catholic Church's most influential and popular leaders, played a key role in the fall of communism, brought a strong focus on human rights to his preaching and his travels gave his teachings a global political impact unknown to previous popes. In Poland and Eastern Europe, Africa, and dozens of other places, the pope's preaching on human rights and individual liberty helped inspire those who fought for political change.
Fearing Pope John Paul II’s global influence, especially in bringing down communism in Poland and Eastern Europe, the Chinese government neither recognized his authority as the head of the Roman Catholics in China nor allowed him to pay a visit to the faithful Chinese Catholics who looked to the Pope as their spiritual guide, hope, and inspiration. The atheistic Chinese leaders in Beijing may continue to deny the moral authority of the Roman Catholic Church and the legacy of Pope John Paul II, but rest of the world shall remember him as one of history’s great leader and pontiff.