(Minghui.org) Around this time 17 years ago, the Chinese Communist Party launched an unprecedented campaign against practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

Since then, countless citizens have been arrested, tortured, or even killed for their organs simply because of their faith. Many people who do not practice Falun Gong have also been hostile to practitioners, due to the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) continuous propaganda against the practice.

Such relentless persecution has never dampened Falun Gong practitioners’ efforts to raise awareness of what the CCP is capable of doing to their citizens.

Many non-practitioners have come to admire the courage and determination of practitioners over the years. Some even openly published statements on the Minghui website to nullify negative things that they said about Falun Gong and Falun Gong practitioners in the past. They vowed to stop being accessories to the persecution and were determined to stand up for Falun Gong.

Below is such a statement written by a man named Guo Fengfa, who's wife practices Falun Gong:

“I am an 81-year-old man. My wife began to practice Falun Gong in 1996, and she soon quit smoking and saw her chronic cough go away. What I liked most was that she was no longer that dominant and bad-tempered wife. I couldn’t thank Falun Gong enough for giving me a much better marriage.

“The persecution that started three years later, however, terrified me, as I didn’t want my family to get implicated because of my wife’s belief. I did everything possible to try to stop her from practicing Falun Gong. I even blamed Falun Gong and its founder for getting my family into trouble.

“My wife, though, never wavered in her faith. As the years went on, I gradually came to see that she'd done nothing wrong by exercising her constitutional right to freedom of belief. Falun Gong only taught her to be a good wife. I should never have badmouthed Falun Gong and its founder. I now openly declare that what I said in the past about the practice is null and void.

“Falun Gong is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!”

Mr. Guo’s statement reminded me of many other people who are still being deceived by the CCP, or haven’t plucked up the courage to say a fair word for Falun Gong.

It is my sincere hope that they too will soon realize that Falun Gong practitioners should never have been persecuted for their belief. I believe that the persecution will end earlier if they stop abetting the persecution and stand up for their fellow citizens’ right to freedom of belief.