People of the future will remember the date of July 20 with respect and admiration. That is the date on which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began a violent, far-reaching persecution campaign against the practitioners of Falun Gong, and their response to this persecution is changing China and the world for the better.
Why is the persecution of Falun Gong so memorable?
First, the number of people targeted was 70 to 100 million, by the Chinese regime’s own reckoning. In 1999, that’s how many people were practicing Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, a traditional Chinese practice of meditation, gentle exercises, and teachings that emphasize the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
Of course the persecution indirectly targeted far more people, including family members, coworkers, neighbors, and friends of practitioners. We might even find that all of Chinese society has been affected when it’s the case that everyone sees and feels widespread mistreatment and killing of innocent people among them. The early barrage of negative propaganda in Chinese media made sure that everyone knew about the persecution, albeit with “alternate facts” designed to turn people against Falun Gong.
Second, the length of time of the persecution and its attendant peaceful resistance by practitioners is 21 years and counting. Jiang Zemin, the jealous leader of the CCP in 1999, proclaimed that the Party would wipe out Falun Gong in 90 days.
It hasn’t turned out quite as he planned. Falun Gong practitioners have endured and persisted. While many have been detained and silenced, many other Falun Gong practitioners both inside and outside China have tenaciously worked to tell the true facts about the practice and the CCP’s persecution, wherever and whenever they can. Efforts range from handing out flyers in Chinese villages, to holding large colorful parades in many nations, to founding media companies—The Epoch Times was founded by Chinese-American Falun Gong practitioners wanting to give the world truthful news about China.
Third, the extraordinary peacefulness of practitioners in the face of extremely violent treatment is remarkable, if not unprecedented, in human history. Practitioners are taught, “Don’t hit back when hit; don’t curse back when cursed at,” and they have upheld this when encountering the beatings, torture, solitary confinement, sexual abuse, force feedings with human waste, killing of family members, and more.
In protests outside China that are directed at visiting CCP officials, when other groups may be shouting with anger, practitioners stand stock still and hold banners or meditate. Police officers on mounted horses have noted how their steeds calm down when they near the peaceful energy emanating from groups of Falun Gong practitioners on the streets.
Fourth, the nature of the violence inflicted on Falun Gong practitioners in China has no precedent. The CCP’s dark institutions wield torture methods from those of ancient times (water torture, fingernail tortures) to those of modern-day (electric shock batons) to damage the body. They use a range of psychological techniques to destroy the spirit. The number killed is unknown and unknowable.
Forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners was first reported in early 2006 by The Epoch Times, has been confirmed by researchers, and has been denounced by governments of many nations. It has been described as a “cold genocide.”
The CCP has honed a method for extracting vital organs from Falun Gong practitioners while they are still alive on the operating table so that waiting transplant recipients have the freshest organs possible. The recipients pay for the privilege, and everyone involved gets a cut, while the unwilling donors die a horrible death.
Organ harvesting is systematic killing of human beings for profit, using their bodies as commodities. The CCP has built entire hospital wings dedicated to this ghoulish commerce. And they have extended the pool of donors to other persecuted groups in China, such as Uyghurs and Christians.
Fifth, the international reach of the persecution has taken global the CCP’s gross violations of human rights. Falun Gong practitioners in any country outside China are monitored and surveilled, and if they have family in China, the family members are visited and threatened by security officials.
Chinese embassies and consulates worldwide have been enlisted to viciously defame Falun Gong. They have threatened small-town mayors and congresspersons alike not to issue proclamations supporting celebrations of the May 13 World Falun Dafa Day. They have organized (and paid) vocal and sometimes violent protesters to disrupt Falun Gong public activities.
By coercing major corporations and national governments to stay silent on Falun Gong if they want to do business with China, they have damaged public morality and induced many people to sell out their own and their organizations’ principles. The CCP has bought tacit consent to such a large-scale human rights abuse, but the higher price is paid by those who compromise their respect for human life.
Hope for the Future
In the 70 years that the CCP has ruled over China, no one has ever resisted its soul-killing rule in the way that Falun Gong has. Falun Gong practitioners have maintained their integrity and their beliefs, and have grown in collective strength even as many individuals have been slaughtered.
Falun Gong practitioners have never sought political influence or changes (their activism against the CCP uses civil disobedience to end an evil persecution), but by their conduct they have pointed a way to peaceful, positive change in China. Numerous human rights lawyers in China and elsewhere, inspired by the righteousness and dignity of Falun Gong practitioners, have taken up their cases despite long odds of winning in Chinese courts.
The people of Hong Kong have watched Falun Gong practitioners’ upright resistance to tyranny, observing at close range the actions of local practitioners for two decades. And the people of Hong Kong now understand, as the CCP moves to snatch away their freedoms, what practitioners were talking about all those years, and are embracing the slogan, “Heaven Destroys the Communist Party.”
Falun Gong practitioners have modeled and lived out courage, independence of thought, and adherence to traditional moral principles, and they are inspiring others to follow suit. They have stood up, not only for their own rights, but also for the dignity of all human beings.
Reckoning for the CCP
The CCP has expended vast resources in 21 years of persecuting Falun Gong. At the beginning, they thought it would be a quick, decisive, and inexpensive process of elimination. But Falun Gong practitioners, with few tangible resources, have done things with their hearts. As they remain unwavering in their beliefs, people can see, and will eventually see even more clearly, what tips the scales.
The CCP is the preeminent force for evil in the world today. By resisting this evil force, Falun Gong practitioners are showing that righteousness can overcome evil.
Since 2004, Falun Gong practitioners have walked every city street and traveled to every village and every populated hill and vale in China, distributing the book “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party,” published by The Epoch Times. The book carries the inscriptions “A book that has shocked all Chinese around the world” and “A book that is disintegrating the Communist Party.”
Thanks to the book, and the efforts of Falun Gong practitioners to explain to Chinese people the deceit, mass killings, and other destructive aspects of the CCP, more than 350 million people have quit the party and/or the Communist Youth League and Young Pioneers.
The CCP has been quietly hollowed out from the inside. Those who remain in the party, as well as those who stand with it or offer it moral support, will suffer the consequences of being part of its fabric as it comes apart.
With all the internal pressures (more and bigger natural disasters, the CCP virus, protests, Hong Kong) and external pressures (growing opposition from other national governments, diminishing trade income, public awareness), it does not take a great deal of foresight to see the picture: the CCP is not long for this earth.
As the CCP collapses, the righteous, courageous, positive actions of Falun Gong practitioners since July 20, 1999 will inspire the world’s good people. So will Falun Gong’s beliefs, including the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.