CCP Continues to Persecute Falun Gong Adherents: US Religious Freedom Commission

Alex Wu
By Alex Wu
December 7, 2022Persecution in Chinashare
CCP Continues to Persecute Falun Gong Adherents: US Religious Freedom Commission
Members of the Falun Gong marching band at a parade in Brooklyn, New York City, on Oct. 2, 2022, to call an end to the Chinese regime’s persecution. (Zhang Jingchu/The Epoch Times)

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a new report and a list of victims of religious persecution around the world.

The report states the Chinese communist regime continues to persecute Falun Gong adherents by targeting them with charges relating to the practice of faiths deemed unacceptable to the atheist Communist Party. USCIRF highlighted Xu Na, a Falun Gong practitioner in China on its belief victim list.

According to the bio on the State Department’s victim list and case record on Minghui.org, a U.S.-based website that tracks the prosecution of Falun Gong. Xu Na is a professional painter residing in Beijing. She was kidnapped and detained by Beijing police on July 19, 2020. She was sentenced to 8 years in prison and fined 20,000 yuan ($2,864) by Beijing Dongcheng People’s Court, citing an article in communist China’s criminal law code which bars faith groups deemed by the regime as unacceptable.

Currently, she’s detained in the Dongcheng District Detention Center in Beijing. She’s denied visits from family members or communication with them.

Xu was imprisoned from 2001 to 2006 for providing accommodation to other Falun Gong practitioners. She was tortured, forced to do hard labor, and mistreated in prison. She and her husband were detained by the regime’s police in 2008. She was jailed for three years.

NTD Photo
Yu Zhou and his wife Xu Na (R). Xu was sentenced to eight years in prison for her belief in Falun Gong on Jan. 14, 2022. (Courtesy of Minghui.org)

Her husband Yu Zhou, who was a well-known musician in Beijing and a Falun Gong practitioner, was tortured to death during detention on Feb. 6, 2008.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a Chinese spiritual practice consisting of simple, slow-moving meditation exercises and teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. It grew in popularity during the 1990s, with 70 million to 100 million adherents in China by the end of the decade, according to estimates at the time.

Feeling threatened by its popularity, China’s ruling Communist Party (CCP) and its then-leader Jiang Zemin launched a systematic elimination campaign in July 1999. Since then, millions have been detained inside prisons, labor camps, and other facilities, with hundreds of thousands tortured while incarcerated, according to the Falun Dafa Information. However, the practice is freely practiced in scores of countries and has received commendations from officials around the world.

Expanded List as a Tool of Persecution

The regime’s courts apply article 300 of the Criminal Code in Chinese law, which punishes those engaging in “heretical” organizations with severe jail penalties. The regime also publishes a list of such groups every few years. However, faith groups, whether on the list or not, have been punished by Chinese courts citing the article. Both the article and the list have been used by the regime as means of defamation and religious persecution.

For more than 20 years, despite the persecution and hate propaganda, Falun Gong wasn’t listed as a heretical group anywhere in the regime’s laws and regulations, which rendered the persecution illegal.

Falun-Gong-banner
A Chinese policeman approaches a Falun Gong practitioner at Tiananmen Square in Beijing as he holds a banner with the Chinese characters for “truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance,” the core tenets of Falun Gong. (Courtesy of Minghui.org)

However, on July 26, 2022, the regime quietly expanded the list, adding Falun Gong as number one on the newly published list, in an attempt to justify the persecution of the faith.

Scholars and international human rights websites have called attention to the regime’s use of the list as a tool for religious persecution in China.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Dec. 2 on the State Department’s website designations against countries including the People’s Republic of China “as Countries of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 for having engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”

From The Epoch Times

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