New Jersey Knights of Columbus Council Supports Falun Gong & Calls for an End to the Persecution in China
Knights of Columbus Council 6572 of New Brunswick, a Catholic men's organization dedicated to Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism, unanimously passed a motion in support of Falun Gong and calling for an end to the persecution in China in the form of a letter writing campaign to various U.S. government officials. A sample of the letter is included below. Also included in the motion was an initiative to alert more Knights of Columbus councils to the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong in China, including those at the state and national levels.
Council 6572 is organized around the Catholic Parish of St. Mary's of Mount Virgin in New Brunswick, NJ. The motion was brought to the floor by a member of the council who practices Falun Gong. Discussion on the matter was positive as the Catholic gentlemen wanted to do as much as possible to end the persecution.
The Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut. Today, the Knights of Columbus has become the largest lay organization in the Catholic Church. Currently, there are over 1.6 million Knights of Columbus members, nearly 6 million strong including their families, with over 12,000 councils in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Panama, the Virgin Islands, Guatemala, Guam and Saipan. The Knights of Columbus are committed to the exemplification of charity, unity, fraternity, patriotism, and defense of the priesthood.
Dear Mr. President:
We, the Catholic men of the Knights of Columbus Council No. 6572, have recently been informed of the horrible human rights atrocities perpetrated against followers of the Falun Gong spiritual movement by the Peoples Republic of China. We were horrified to learn of such things and decided to support Falun Gong by writing to you: maybe you can help them? We oppose the persecution of these good people based solely on their religious beliefs. Can't you please do something, Mr. President, to help stop this senseless violence perpetrated against the men, women, and children of Falun Gong and help to restore their good name?
Americans know that no people should be persecuted for their religious beliefs; this truth is self evident and universal. Won't you do what you can to enforce international human rights laws so that the senseless violence can end?
We know that those who practice Falun Gong are good people, as we have many in our communities of central New Jersey and know them personally. Falun Gong believers strive to be truthful, compassionate, and tolerant. They work hard. They are kind, generous people who give of themselves and ask of nothing in return. That's why the senseless persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China is so outrageous to us. And the degree of brutality is appalling! We have come to learn that the Chinese Government utilizes all possible torturous means against Falun Gong practitioners in an attempt to force them to give up their practice. We know that China is breaking international covenants by means of arrests--with over 100,000 in labor camps--gang rapes, torture, electrocution, and forced abortions, resulting in at least 300 deaths. We also know of the worldwide propaganda campaign orchestrated by the Communist Regime to hide these facts from the rest of the world.
The Catholic men of the Knights of Columbus are no strangers to religious persecution. Our order was founded in response to anti-catholic bigotry in the U.S. over 100 years ago that we have not forgotten. Christians are no strangers to religious persecution, as Jesus and the early apostles also bore the wrath of a vast empire. Only 50 years ago Jews were systemically exterminated for simply being Jewish. Let us not forget the final outcome of these events: that good prevailed over evil in all three cases. And it will again in this case: the good people of Falun Gong will prevail over the totalitarian regime
So, we respectfully ask you, Mr. President, to please do everything you can to help the good triumph over the evil sooner rather than later and free the Falun Gong practitioners suffering in China. Thank you very much.
Matthew A. Danza