Why and How the Persecution Started

Why is Falun Dafa persecuted in China?

The complex rationale behind the persecution can be broken into four elements: a paranoid dictator's fear of Falun Gong's meteoric growth and soaring popularity; that same dictator's intense jealousy of Falun Dafa's popularity; the inherent conflict between the communist regime's savage political ideology and its polar opposite--Falun Dafa's principles of Truthfulness, Benevolence, Forbearance; and the very nature of communism, which to sustain itself requires periodically labeling a small segment of the population as the "class enemy" to "struggle" against.

How did the persecution start?

For three years prior to the official launch of the nationwide persecution in July 1999, practitioners were under increasingly intense government oppression. As early as 1996, Falun Gong books were banned from publication, and the first article criticizing Falun Gong was published in a major state-run newspaper. By 1998 and 1999, the police were disrupting group exercise sessions in parks. Propaganda attacks smearing Falun Gong in the state-run media increased. Following a series of events in April 1999 in which the police wrongly arrested and beat practitioners in Tianjin (please refer to Timeline for details), approximately 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered in Beijing to peacefully petition the State Council Appeals office on April 25, 1999, asking for the release of the arrested practitioners, a redress of the ban on Falun Gong books and an end to government harassment of the practice. Although the gathering was exceptionally peaceful, and then-Premier Zhu Rongji met with practitioners and agreed to honor their requests, the official oppression accelerated soon after this event. On June 10, 1999, President Jiang Zemin established the 610 Office, a nationwide police agency with special authority over all local law enforcement bodies, governments and the courts, to spearhead the persecution of Falun Gong. On July 20, 1999, the police conducted sweeping arrests of coordinators of Falun Gong exercise sites. On July 22 an all-out media blitz was launched against Falun Gong and the practice was officially declared banned. Since that time, the persecution has continued unabated, regardless of the fact that no actual law exists that establishes the ban or allows the persecution.

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