A bipartisan group of lawmakers condemned the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for savagely persecuting millions of people who only wish to exercise and behave truthfully, compassionately, and tolerantly.
Senators and representatives from all sides of politics used the 21st anniversary of the persecution of Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) to criticize the CCP for arbitrarily detaining, torturing, organ harvesting, and killing adherents.
A total of 15 Republicans and 14 Democrats expressed sympathy and solidarity for all affected by the CCP’s “egregious crackdown on Falun Gong practitioners.”
Rep. Daniel Crenshaw (R-Texas) believes the July 20, 1999 crackdown against Falun Dafa highlights the importance of the United States continuing to press the CCP on human rights, especially when it comes to forced organ harvesting.
“The CCP commits vile human rights abuses against the Falun Gong, and we must all speak out against these atrocities,” he said in a statement. “According to numerous reports, Falun Gong prisoners of conscience are killed to supply the black market in human organs. This is beyond unacceptable.”
Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) felt outraged after discovering the CCP deliberately forced between 70 million and 100 million of its population into homelessness, because Falun Dafa adherents refused to stop being truthful, compassionate, and tolerant people.
“Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners are still wrongfully imprisoned and more face severe discrimination in employment, housing, and business opportunities,” he said in a statement. “No one should have to face the fear of retaliation simply for practicing their beliefs.”
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) described the human rights tragedy that unnecessarily claimed the lives of at least 4,363 Falun Dafa adherents as upsetting.
“It continues to sadden and anger me that Falun Gong followers are paying an unfair price for following what they believe in,” he said in a statement. “You can trust my voice and actions will remain strong with you.”
From 1992 to 1999, Falun Dafa enjoyed immense popularity with an estimated 70 million to 100 million people practicing in mainland China alone. The practice has also spread to the United States and more than 70 countries across the world while Falun Dafa books have been translated into over 40 different languages.
However, the CCP grew increasingly unsettled by the group’s rapid growth and high number of influential party members who joined. In late 1999, Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin decided to arbitrarily arrest and torture adherents to death, confiscated and destroyed more than 2 million Falun Dafa books, and ordered state-run media to publish hundreds of articles that defamed the practice.
The two decadeslong human rights crisis has caused at least 4,363 known Falun Dafa adherents to be persecuted to death, with “tens of thousands more [cases] to be confirmed” according to the latest data collected by the Minghui website. The CCP’s policy to cremate the deceased bodies of victims without asking permission from family members, has only added to the difficulty in ascertaining exactly how many Falun Dafa adherents have been persecuted to death since 1999.
The U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback believes the strength Falun Dafa adherents has shown is a classic example of failed regulatory overreach.
“The CCP is in a war they will not win [since] it is a war that other governments have tried unsuccessfully to persecute people of faith,” he said in a video shared on the Falun Dafa Information Center website. “It always fails, [because the] soul is stronger than the government, a person’s belief is stronger than somebody who seeks to oppress them.”
The practice continues to enjoy popularity in the United States and other parts of the world.
“Despite brutal persecution, Falun Dafa has grown, with followers continuing to advocate for human rights,” Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) said in a statement. “I wish you many more years of health and prosperity in the practice of Falun Dafa.”
Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) described Falun Dafa adherents as a resilient group that withstood the limits of human endurance.
“I am inspired by your unshakable commitment to human rights and religious freedom,” he said in a statement. “Twenty-one years ago, China began its oppression of the Falun Gong community, and today, I stand with you in solidarity.”
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) was also very touched by the group’s conviction despite the risk of persecution.
“The resolve, bravery, and commitment of Chinese Falun Gong members to the three core principles of truthfulness, benevolence, and forbearance despite the danger it places one in is the genuine mark of a freedom loving group,” he said in a statement.