(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Chen Guangchang is a lawyer in Jinan, Shangdong Province. His legal practice has encountered troubles with various governmental agencies.

Mr. Chen applied to establish a law firm under his name in March 2013. Although his qualifications satisfied all the legal requirements, when the person processing his application contacted the Jinan City Justice Bureau, a lawyer in the bureau’s administration department replied, "The two National Conferences are taking place, and our superiors expect our bureau to provide a daily account of this lawyer’s activities because he practices Falun Gong. We do not dare to approve his application to open a law firm."

According to the Chinese Constitution, citizens have freedom of belief, including the right to believe or not to believe. For this authoritative agency to require that Mr. Chen be monitored and reported on because of his belief is a violation of the Constitution and the law. The Justice Bureau’s refusal to review his application is clearly a violation of the Constitution and the law.

China’s Justice Ministry issued a new oath for lawyers in 2012. All lawyers are required to take the oath before their licenses are renewed. Part of the oath they have to swear to includes, “...support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.” Mr. Chen Guangchang refused to endorse this sentiment. The Communist Party started the persecution of Falun Gong without any legal justification. Internal communist regime policy launched and has sustained the persecution.

As a Falun Gong practitioner, Mr. Chen decided to protect his constitutional rights. How could he pledge loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party? The new oath oversteps what can be legally required for lawyers to be licensed. It is against the law to force a lawyer to swear to unreasonable demands.

After Mr. Chen Guangchang refused to endorse the oath, his employer, Shandong Tengshi Law Firm, told him, "Endorsing the oath is the firm’s internal policy; anyone who refuses to abide by this policy will lose his license." This policy was only implemented in 2012 and is a new form of persecution that the communist regime's Political and Legal Affairs Committee ordered the justice system to carry out.

Under the regime’s “guilt by association” policy, many people have played a role in the persecution of Falun Gong, willingly or unwillingly. Some have gone along with the persecution out of fear. Since the Party took power some sixty years ago, it has been forcing people to pledge loyalty to its policies and to persecute those who refuse to toe the Party line. As a result, many people have lost their principles and courage to uphold justice. After so many years of being immersed in Party “culture,” many do not even see a need for principles. They know clearly that Falun Gong is not only legal, but also a good thing for society, yet they still choose to accept the Party’s lies, and regard practicing Falun Gong as an illegal activity. Even legal experts and policy professionals intentionally confuse people with false arguments. They take the Party’s policy and the persecution, launched by a few individuals based on political motivation, as the law.