The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has increased its pressure to eradicate followers of Falun Gong in Russia with the courts outlawing the practice in Republic of Khakassia.
“The Khakassia regional organization for spiritual and physical self-improvement per the Great Law Falun Dafa has been designated as an extremist organization. Its activities in the territory of the Russian Federation have been banned,” Novosibirsk’s Fifth General Court of Appeal said in a ruling handed down at its session on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
In July 2020, the Supreme Court of Khakassia refused to label Falun Gong an extremist organization. The court then overturned that decision on appeal from the prosecutors, reported Interfax Religion.
The judges also recommended a nationwide “liquidation” of Falun Gong in Russia, which should be pronounced by higher courts, reported Bitter Winter.
The CCP has exerted pressure on Russian officials to ban Falun Gong over the past decade. In 2012 a group of Russian practitioners was arrested while collecting flyers from a printing shop. The flyers were intended for distribution to people to expose the persecution of Falun Gong by the CCP.
The main text of Falun Gong, “Zhuan Falun,” was also banned in Russia.
Leading anti-cultist Roman Silantyev called the Novosibirsk decision to ban Falun Gong a vital “milestone” in combating extremism. He has been campaigning for a complete “liquidation” of Falun Gong in Russia.
“Currently, this is the world’s largest sect. It has been active in Russia as well, and not only in Khakassia. I hope that starting from this moment, it will be possible to ban it throughout the territory of our country, as happened with the Jehovah’s Witnesses,” Silantyev told Interfax.
Bitter Winter reported that Roman Silantyev is, according to several observers, gradually replacing Alexander Dvorkin as the leading voice for the anti-cult movement in Russia.
Falun Gong has endured relentless persecution in Russia, and on July 17, 2020, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom denounced Russia’s anti-cult ideology, reported Bitter Winter.
On July 17, 2020, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) unveiled a new document, titled, “The Anti-cult Movement and Religious Regulation in Russia and the Former Soviet Union.”
Dvorkin is a Russian activist who has led campaigns for almost 30 years against religious movements he has labeled as “cults.”
The USCIRF asked the United States government to “publicly censure Alexander Dvorkin and [his organization], the Saint Irenaeus of Lyon Information-Consultation Center, for their ongoing disinformation campaign against religious minorities.”
Dvorkin repeatedly went to China and Hong Kong to offer his support to the persecution of Falun Gong, to deny that the CCP is harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience, and to applaud the repression of The Church of Almighty God.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated on July 20, on the 21st anniversary of the persecution of Falun Gong in China, the CCP must immediately cease “its depraved abuse and mistreatment of Falun Gong practitioners.”
“Since 1999, the Communist Party of China has sought to eradicate Falun Gong, a spiritual practice originating in China and its peaceful practitioners and human rights defenders who have fought for their right to practice their beliefs.
Extensive evidence shows the PRC government [the CCP] continues to repress and abuse this community to this day, including reported torture of Falun Gong practitioners and detention of thousands,” said Pompeo.
“Twenty-one years of persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is far too long, and it must end,” he added.
On the same day as the anniversary of the persecution in China, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office released a statement, banning seven NGOs that support Falun Gong.
The statement read,
“As a result of a study of the materials received by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation, a decision was adopted to designate the activities of the following foreign nongovernmental organizations as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation: World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong Inc. (U.S.), Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (U.S.) , Global Mission to Rescue Persecuted Falun Gong Practitioners Inc. (U.S.), Friends of Falun Gong Inc. (U.S.), Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (U.S.), Dragon Springs Buddhist Inc. (U.S.), and The European Falun Dafa Association (UK).
Included in the banned list is the very respected Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH). Many of the doctors (not Falun Gong practitioners) from DAFOH are experts, and they all denounce illegal organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China.