The then-6-year-old “Panchen lama” was kidnapped by the Chinese regime 25 years ago.
The Panchen Lama is an important figure in Tibetan Buddhism, and he was selected by the Dalai Lama.
After the boy, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, was kidnapped, the CCP appointed its own Panchen Lama to the position.
To recognize the years that have passed since the boy’s disappearance, the state department on Monday called for his whereabouts—in the name of religious freedom.
On Tuesday, China said the boy is now a college graduate with a job, and that neither he nor his family wished to be disturbed in their “current normal lives.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced “China’s persecution” of Nyima. The state department wrote that it prioritizes protecting that freedom especially in China, where people of faith “face severe repression and discrimination.”
The CNN Wire contributed to this report.