(Minghui.org) As the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong entered the 22nd year on July 20, 2021, seventeen U.S. Congress members recently wrote letters or issued statements to support Falun Gong practitioners and condemn the CCP’s brutality, especially the forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners.

Supporting letters were recently received from 17 U.S. Congress members urging a stop to the suppression in China.

Chair of Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Senator Robert Menendez, chair of Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Statement from Robert Menendez

Robert Menendez, the chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, issued a statement on July 20, “Twenty-two years ago today, the People’s Republic of China undertook a ruthless and brutal crackdown against the followers of the Falun Gong spiritual movement that continues to this day. In the more than two decades since, tens of thousands of Chinese citizens have been persecuted for their religious beliefs, imprisoned, tortured, subjected to forced labor, and credible allegations of organ harvesting.”

“I join the international community in calling on Beijing to respect the religious beliefs and practices of all its citizens, including its Falun Gong practitioners,” he continued, “No one should have to face prison, torture, or worse, simply for how they choose to practice their religion. China should immediately release all Falun Gong practitioners it has detained, and allow them to practice their faith with dignity and respect.”

Rubio: Hold the CCP Accountable

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

Letter from U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

“As we gather today to celebrate Falun Gong, let us continue to bring awareness to the Chinese Communist Party’s decades-long repression of the spiritual movement,” wrote Senator Marco Rubio from Florida, “The fundamental right of the Chinese people to freely practice their beliefs without the fear of prosecution by the regime must be respected and protected. Falun Gong’s teachings of compassion, tolerance, and truth make it a prime target by the oppressive Chinese Communist Party. We must continue to call out the regime’s ongoing abuses against its followers.”

“I will continue to advance policies in Congress that will hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable and work to bring about a better future for the Chinese people,” he added.

Proclamation from Chair of House Republican Conference

Representative Elise Stefanik in New York

Proclamation from Representative Elise Stefanik

Elise Stefanik, chair of the House Republican Conference, issued a proclamation “in commemoration of the Falun Dafa Association’s march in Washington, D.C. to mark 22 years of perseverance in the face of persecution by the Chinese Communist Party.”

More Pressure Must be put on the CCP

Representative Zoe Lofgren from California

Letter from Representative Zoe Lofgren

“My district of San Jose, California is home to a large community of Falun Gong practitioners, who recently held a parade and rally to raise awareness of the persecution still happening in China,” wrote Representative Zoe Lofgren. “By speaking out and protesting injustices, my district and the country as a whole are made stronger.”

“I believe that the United States must actively promote human rights across the globe and am deeply troubled by reports from detainees that describe forced indoctrination, torture, and indefinite detention,” Lofgren wrote. “More pressure must be put on the Chinese government to protect the rights of its religious and ethnic minority populations.”

The Human Rights Abuses are Repulsive and Unacceptable

Representative Mike Doyle from Pennsylvania

Letter from Representative Mike Doyle

“I am writing to express my strong opposition to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese government,” wrote a letter by Representative Mike Doyle on July 16.

“This peaceful practice became very popular in China and acquired millions of practitioners during the 1990s. Starting in 1999, however, the Chinese government has attempted to eradicate the spiritual practice of Falun Gong and persecute those who practice it,” he explained. “Peaceful practitioners of Falun Gong and their families have suffered from harsh government oppression for practicing their belief system. These human rights abuses by the Chinese Government are repulsive and unacceptable.”

“I welcome this opportunity to reaffirm my opposition to the Chinese government’s brutal repression of Falun Gong practitioners. I can assure you that I will continue to work in the House of Representatives to end the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Government,” Doyle wrote at the end of the letter.

Video Greetings: Safeguarding Moral Values

Representative Gus Bilirakis

Video greetings from Representative Gus Bilirakis

Representative Gus Bilirakis from Florida sent a video greeting. The CCP began to suppress practitioners since July 20, 1999, and it has lasted 22 years. That is why he planned to initiate a resolution to condemn the atrocity.

In particular, his constituent Zhou You had personally suffered from the persecution. Zhou’s father Mr. Zhou Deyong had been arrested and detained. And this is one of the many tragedies Falun Gong practitioners have experienced for their belief.

As a result, Bilirakis will work with other elective officials to stand firmly against the CCP. If we remain silent on this and ignore the moral values, the general public can be in danger.

Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act

Representative Vicky Hartzler in Missouri

Supporting letter from Representative Vicky Hartzler

“The imprisonment and treatment of Falun Gong practitioners in China is unconscionable, and it truly is a violation of human rights at the highest level. Falun Gong practitioners should have the right to freely practice Falun Gong inside China,” wrote Representative Vicky Hartzler, “Sadly, this is not the case, and millions of practitioners have been detained, arrested, tortured, or killed in the past 22 years.”

She said the House of Representatives passed a resolution in 2016 calling for the CCP to end the horrific practice of forced organ harvesting and release all Falun Gong practitioners. “While this was a step in the right direction, more must be done. That is why I recently cosponsored H.R. 1592, the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act, which seeks to combat international trafficking of individuals for the purpose of forced organ harvesting.”

“It is absolutely imperative that these egregious violations of human rights come to an end and that all religious minorities in China are free of persecution,” she wrote.

Defense of Religious Freedom

Representative Tim Walberg of Michigan

Supporting letter from Representative Tim Walberg

In his letter on July 16, Representative Tim Walberg wrote, “Throughout my career, I have made it a priority to stand in defense of religious freedom and people of conscience, and I continue to uphold that commitment today for those who follow the spiritual practice of Falun Gong.”

“Since 1999 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has committed abhorrent human rights atrocities against Falun Gong practitioners: including imprisonment, torture, killing, and state-sanctioned organ harvesting. In light of these atrocities, in 2016, the House of Representatives passed, and I supported H.Res. 343, condemning the vile abuse committed against the Falun Gong and demanding an end to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the CCP,” he continued.

“No government has the right to deny individuals to peacefully practice their faith. But through your advocacy and continued efforts to shine a light on the human rights abuses in China, a better day will come, and people of faith will once again be able to practice freely.”

“There are Few Worse Crimes That can be Imagined”

Representative Steve Chabot of Ohio

Letter from Representative Steve Chabot

“As the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia and Nonproliteration and a longtime supporter of the rights of Falun Gong practitioners, I write to express my solidarity as you seek to bring attention to the barbaric persecution your fellow practitioners face at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” wrote Representative Steve Chabot.

“As you well know, the CCP has attempted to eliminate the practice of Falun Gong since their crackdown began over two decades ago. This persecution has only grown worse during the COVID-19 pandemic as the party has sought to finally complete this horrific goal,” he continued.

“Since July 1999, Falun Gong practitioners have been forced to endure brutal abuse, including arbitrary arrest, torture, and violence. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) involuntary, state-sanctioned harvesting of organs and bodily tissue from practitioners is, however, by far the most heinous violation of their basic human rights.” Representative Chabot added, “There are few worse crimes that can be imagined. And the evidence of this particular crime and its sheer scope and scale in the PRC continues to mount, especially with the exhaustive work documented in the China Tribunal’s final judgment last year.”

“This unspeakable crime demands justice for the countless victims who have suffered at the hands of the CCP,” he concluded. “During my time in Congress, I have had the opportunity to meet several Falun Gong practitioners, both from my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio and from around America; and I have come to appreciate your dedication to truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. With these friends in mind, I will continue to stand alongside you in the fight for the rights of your fellow practitioners.”

Core Principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance

Illinois representative Bill Foster

Letter from Illinois representative Bill Foster

“As a movement based on the core principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, I commend your continued efforts to spread awareness of this issue and your commitment to protest human rights violations peacefully,” wrote Representative Bill Foster.

“I join you in calling for an immediate end to the abuse against the spiritual movement of the Falun Gong and the subjugation of peaceful practitioners. I hope that the Chinese government will recognize the importance of free expression for all its citizens and immediately end its persecutory activities,” he wrote.

Proclamation: Hope for a Peaceful Future

Congressman Sean Maloney

Proclamation from Congressman Sean Maloney

Congressman Sean Maloney from Orange County, New York, issued a proclamation on behalf of Falun Dafa on July 10. Below is the full text:

“WHEREAS, On July 10, 2021, Falun Gong practitioners in Orange County will hold a rally with local officials and community leaders to mark the anniversary of, and protest against, the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners; AND

“WHEREAS, Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa, is an ancient Qi Gong discipline of mind/body cultivation. It is a way to improve physical and mental wellness through a series of gentle exercises and meditation. This cultivation practice is guided by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance; universal human values that bridge cultures, nationalities, race, gender, and age. The practice and the principles of Falun Dafa transcend cultural boundaries and contribute to a healthier and more harmonious society; AND

“WHEREAS, rooted in ancient Chinese spiritual tradition, Falun Gong was first taught publicly in China in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of the practice. It spread quickly as tens of millions of Chinese citizens found greater health and spiritual well-being through the practice. Today, Falun Gong is practiced in over 70 countries worldwide by people of all ages and backgrounds and has won over 3,000 worldwide awards and recognitions over the years. It is always taught free of charge by volunteers, and can be practiced individually or in groups; AND

“WHEREAS, on July 20th, 1999 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched the persecution of the peaceful mind-body discipline Falun Gong. Every year since people around the world have called for the end of state-sponsored killings and torture. Marches and rallies, sometimes numbering several thousand, are held in New York City, Washington DC, and other major cities.

“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: We recognize and honor the peaceful practices of Falun Dafa and join them in the hope of a peaceful future.”

Inalienable Right to Practice Faith

Representative Glenn Grothman

Letter from Glenn Grothman, a House of Representatives member from Wisconsin

Representative Glenn Grothman said it is the elective officials’ duty to “stand with the persecuted and do all we can to protect their inalienable right to practice their faith.”

“For 22 years, the CCP has sought to wipe out Falun Gong practitioners through political imprisonment, torture, and the abhorrent practice of organ harvesting. Families have been torn apart and many have lost their lives. I stand with you in condemning the CCP for these atrocious actions that violate universally recognized human rights,” he added.

“In the face of a regime that seeks to silence dissidents, I applaud your bravery in voicing the persecution Falun Gong practitioners have experienced by the CCP. No person should ever live in fear of practicing their faith,” he concluded. “It is imperative that our institutions, from Congress to the State Department to institutions of learning, understand and advocate for the necessity to respect all faiths.”

“Bring an End to the Evil Attacks”

Representative Jack Bergman from Michigan

Representative Jack Burgman’s letter

“As we mark 22 years of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution of the Falun Gong, today we remember those who have lost their lives and we hope to bring an end to the evil attacks and human rights violations experienced by Falun Gong practitioners,” wrote Representative Jack Burgman.

“The CCP has been committing human rights violations for decades, and we have a duty to shine a light on these atrocities. Religious persecution in any form cannot be tolerated, and it is my hope we will see a day when the practitioners of Falun Gong can freely practice their religion without fear,” he added, “The United States must work with our international allies to expose and hold accountable the CCP for its flagrant abuses. As a member of the House of Representatives, I will continue to call out the human rights violations facilitated by the CCP.”

Standing in Solidarity in This Fight Against Injustice

Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota

Letter from Representative Dean Phillips

“I write to extend my heartfelt greetings as you gather to draw attention to the oppression faced by Falun Gong practitioners in China for the last twenty-two years,” wrote Representative Dean Phillips. “I stand with you in solidarity in this fight against injustice.”

“The United States and the international community must condemn the Chinese government’s practice of religious persecution, which has included ongoing wrongful imprisonment of Falun Gong practitioners,” he wrote. “Rest assured that I will use my position as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to shed light on China’s violations of human rights.”

“Falun Gong values the principles of truth, compassion, and forbearance. Our world would surely be a more peaceful one if we centered those values in our daily lives,” he added.

The Persecution has Lasted too Long

Congressman David Trone of Maryland

Letter from congressman David Trone

“I am writing today to mark 22 years since the start of the Chinese Communist Party’s campaign of pressure against and persecution of Falun Gong practitioners,” reads the letter from Congressman David Trone on July 20. “For far too long, China has oppressed dissenting communities and threatened religious freedom. I strongly stand against these threats, and I condemn any kind of human rights abuses.”

“As a former member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I will continue to raise my voice to address these issues around the world. If I am given the opportunity to vote on or amend legislation related to Falun Gong, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind,” he continued. “Thank you for all of your contributions to our community. Please accept my best wishes for the Maryland Falun Dafa Association.”

“I Am Inspired by Your Unshakable Commitment”

Congressman Juan Vargas

Congressman Juan Vargas’ letter of support

“My warmest regards to the San Diego Falun Dafa Association and the Falun community as we reflect on the 22 years since the Chinese government launched a brutal campaign to eliminate Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese religion based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance,” wrote Representative Juan Vargas from California. “As we navigate these challenging times, the importance of these values is renewed. I am inspired by your unshakable commitment to human rights and religious freedom. Today I stand with you in solidarity condemning China’s 22-year oppression against the Falun Community.”

“The dangers faced by Falun Gong practitioners in China are real. Since 1999, the Chinese government has arbitrarily detained millions of Falun Gong practitioners to force them to renounce their beliefs and denounce their communities. They have been beaten, electrocuted, force-fed, sexually assaulted, starved, and tortured in countless horrific ways,” he explained, “These practices violate human rights and must be condemned by the international community.”

“I applaud your organizations’ unwavering efforts to advocate on behalf of Falun Gong practitioners in China,” he added.

Continued and Unwavering Support

Congressman Gerald Connolly in Virginia

Letter from Congressman Gerald Connolly

“Victims of the persecution of Falun Gong have come to my office to give their real-life narratives of torture, suffering, and damages experienced by their families. Some of my own constituents are themselves refugees of this persecution,” wrote Representative Gerald Connolly, “I understand that Falun Gong practitioners have responded to the state-sanctioned violence using entirely peaceful means, despite the violence used against them.”

“I want to thank you for sharing your stories and advocating the widely shared values that define us both as a nation and as a broader international community,” he wrote.

Chinese version available

Category: Voices of Support Worldwide