On May 14, Minghui Publishing received major recognition from the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the largest publishing association in the United States, for a book compiling the persecution of China’s 100 million Falun Dafa practitioners.
The book “Minghui Report: The 20 Years Persecution of Falun Gong in China” won the Bill Fisher Silver Award, which recognizes books by publishers in the nonfiction category.
According to David Li of Minghui Publishing House, the award is due to two factors: one is that the persecution of Falun Gong in China is not a topic that has been regularly covered by the mainstream media, even though practitioners are subjected to inhumane torture and persecution and is considered the largest genocide in modern history, so IBPA members were shocked to learn the horrific details of the persecution.
And second, after 22 years of collecting first-hand information from China about the violations, abuses, and details of the Chinese Communist regime’s persecution, to have organized all that information into a book for the general public is an aspect that can be ignored.
What is Falun Gong and why is it persecuted?
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline of the Buddha School, based on the principles of Truth-Benevolence-Tolerance.
The practice has a series of gentle exercises similar to Taichi and also a meditation. The exercises complement moral improvement, which is the main element of the discipline—transmitted by word of mouth totally free of charge.
During the boom of energetic practices in China, Falun Dafa began to spread as a form of qigong in 1992. However, it quickly gained renown due to its healing effects and high moral requirements that distinguished it from other practices that only emphasized movements.
According to official surveys, Falun Dafa had around 100 million adherents ranging from peasants to senior Party officials and business people in just six years.
At the time, the number of practitioners exceeded the membership of the Chinese Communist Party—60 million— so the then CCP leader, Jiang Zemin, unilaterally decided to issue an order to ‘defame their reputation, break them financially and destroy them physically’ as he felt that a growing spiritual movement threatened the Party’s absolute power.
In doing so, the communist leader set the entire state apparatus in motion against 100 million innocent citizens whose sole aim was to improve their physical and mental health.
To date, Minghui.org has compiled 4641 confirmed cases of practitioner deaths in police custody, although the number is estimated to be exponentially higher due to censorship and information blocking within China.
Despite the CCP’s efforts to hide the persecution inside and outside China, ordinary citizens in different official agencies risk their lives to send first-hand information securely to Minghui.org by using special software to bypass China’s firewall.
Thus, Minghui has documented millions of cases of persecution and abuse since 1999, when the persecution began, and this book presents both a summary and details of specific cases.
Falun Dafa, no media coverage due to pressure from China’s communist regime
Despite the seriousness of the campaign to persecute Falun Dafa in China, the topic has not received adequate coverage in the mainstream media. In fact, some media outlets—the New York Times—have even published stories defaming the discipline because of pressure from the CCP or for financial incentives.
In their bilateral meetings, the Chinese authorities have for decades imposed the rule that certain topics cannot be brought up or else there will be economic consequences.
A recent example is the case of Xinjiang. As several countries follow in the footsteps of former President Donald Trump and impose sanctions on Chinese officials for their involvement in the Uyghur genocide, the CCP has only responded with threats without allowing independent investigations or allowing the allegations to be verified by third parties.
While the Uyghur genocide has exposed the perversity with which the Communist authorities treat minorities, Falun Dafa remains taboo in the media even though the extent of the persecution is many times worse than what is happening in Xinjiang.
A message of hope
David Li of Minghui Publishing House said, “I hope more people can pick up the book and read about what kind of the persecution Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to, what kind of people Falun Gong practitioners are, and what their values are.”
He added, “I hope people would start to think about what the most important thing to us is and what we should be paying attention to.”