(Clearwisdom.net) An August 17th article published by the Associated Press reported that "Chinese customs officials confiscated more than 300 Bibles on Sunday from four American Christians who arrived in Kunming, China, with plans to distribute them. The Bibles were taken from the group's checked luggage after they landed at the airport, said Pat Klein, head of Vision Beyond Borders. An officer at the Kunming airport customs office denied confiscating the Bibles, and said authorities were just 'taking care of them' and provided no further details."

Freedom of belief is a universally accepted right. While the world focused on the Beijing Olympics and the outstanding athletic feats performed there, the Communist Party unscrupulously violated human rights in a faraway city, showing again that its pre-Olympic promises to uphold freedom of belief were nothing but bold-face lies.

Many wonder, "What's wrong with bringing in Bibles?" The same AP article offers a clue to what's really going on: "The state-run China Daily reported last month that 10,000 bilingual copies of the Bible would be distributed in the Olympic Village, which houses athletes and media." So, despite the façade of freedom of religion contrived to deceive visiting media and athletes, the Party in fact did not relent in its iron-fisted control over the minds of the Chinese people for even one second. Bibles don't sit well with the CCP.

The CCP regime promotes atheism and has always regarded religion as a thorn in its side, a special target for "political struggles." During the Cultural Revolution, the Party forced millions of monks and nuns to renounce their belief, leave their temples and lead a secular life. Such practices have continued unabated, with a relentless policy of persecuting Christians, Catholics, Tibetan Buddhists and more.

The Vatican claims a membership of several million in China, but that reflects only the number of "Patriotic Catholics" [i.e. those who have first sworn loyalty to the Party] registered with the regime, while the actual number including underground House Church members is actually much higher. Three years ago, a report by Li Shixiong, founder of the New York City-based "Committee for Investigation on Persecution of Religion in China" stated, "Since the Fall of 2000, 20,000 Christians started their own investigation of more than 560,000 Christians of House Churches in China, in 207 cities across 22 provinces. The results show that out of more than 60 million followers, at least 2.7 million have been arrested at least once without warrant, 440,000 have been sentenced to re-education through labor, 750 have been pursued by police, and 200,000 have lived in exile."

The persecution of Falun Gong is even more brutal. Jiang Zemin launched an all-out persecution in 1999 largely because Jiang was jealous of Falun Gong's widespread popularity. The Party spun numerous lies, including a staged self-immolation on Tiananmen Square, portraying practitioners as mass murderers and greedy wealth-seekers. The propaganda machine was cranked into full gear and has churned out lies and slander tirelessly in relentless efforts to turn public opinion against Falun Gong, and to thereby somehow "justify" the persecution in the eyes of the public. Genocide is easier to accomplish if the victims are first demonized so that the people mistakenly believe that those who are being wiped out are "getting what they deserve."

The Communist regime supplements the propaganda with genocidal official policies, such as, "ruin [Falun Gong's] reputation, bankrupt them financially, and annihilate them physically." The Party has resorted to breaking into and ransacking homes, extorting money, intimidation, threats, arrest, detention, implication, brainwashing, torture, electric shock, rape, injection of psychotic drugs, and live organ harvesting. At least 3,175 practitioners are confirmed dead as a direct result of abuse, more than 100,000 practitioners are being held in prisons, labor camps and brainwashing classes, and more than 500 were sentenced to 18-plus-years in prison. The likely true death toll is many, many times higher.

A 2005 article in Time magazine described China's labor camps as truly operating outside the confines of the law, where cruelties and a system of criminal immunity unknown to the world run rampant. It is within these camps and prisons that Falun Gong practitioners who were expelled from schools and fired from their jobs solely because of their belief were tortured until they suffered permanent physical handicap and were even killed.

The Party promised to improve human rights back in 2001 when it was first granted the right to host the Olympic Games. Instead, the situation in China has gone the other way. Over the past several years, the regime has used the Olympics as their excuse to escalate the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. The Falun Dafa Information Center published a report in July 2008, stating that at least an additional 8,030 Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested since December 2007. Among them, in Beijing alone, at least 500 were arrested and at least 30 of these were sent directly to labor camps without trial.

The persecution of Truth-Compassion-Forbearance, the fundamental principle of Falun Gong, is an attempt to destroy the most fundamentally held human values and conscience. In the past nine years, Falun Gong practitioners in China and abroad have spared no effort in exposing the Party's lies and crimes. As a result, many people have changed their attitude from hatred and indifference to sympathy, understanding and support. More than 42 million people have openly announced their pledges to renounce membership in the Party and its Youth Leagues.

In the incident mentioned at the beginning of this article, Party officials seized 300 Bibles and then shamelessly claimed to be "taking care of them." It is not hard to imagine what other extreme and sinister methods the Party has employed in the past few years against Falun Gong. Please learn more about this persecution, and help bring it to an immediate end.