Elected Officials Voice Support for Falun Gong at July 16 Rally in Washington D.C.
(Clearwisdom.net) Falun Gong practitioners and supporters held a rally in front of Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. on July 16, marking ten years of peaceful protests against the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) brutal persecution of Falun Gong. A number of elected representatives delivered speeches or sent statements in support of practitioners' ongoing efforts to end the persecution in China. Excerpts from several of these statements are provided below.
Congressman Gus Bilirakis: I stand with you and share your principles of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance
Congressman Gus Bilirakis of Florida attended the rally and delivered an address, voicing strong support for practitioners' efforts to expose and stop the persecution.
"I am so glad to see so many of you here today to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the violent crackdown by the brutal communist regime in China.
"Tens of thousands of you have been persecuted and tortured by communist authorities, solely because of your religious beliefs. Religious persecution is the weapon of tyrants.
"But you have demonstrated time and again that you are a resilient and peaceful people seeking only to practice your faith in a way that all people should be allowed - free from harassment and persecution.
"You have not surrendered to the tyranny, but have fought against it with the power of your hearts and minds. Through your television broadcasts, newspapers, and internet websites you have spread the word and provided access to the truth for those who live under the communist party's lies and oppression.
"Please know that as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I have worked hard to make sure your voice gets heard. I will continue to fight against all tyrannies including the communist regime in China. I will continue to fight for all persecuted peoples and their right to peaceful assembly and freedom of religion.
"Your numbers cannot be denied and your collective voice cannot be stopped, especially not here in the United States by Chinese communist thugs.
"I stand with you and share your principles of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance. God bless you and thank you!"
Congressman Ted Poe: I once again call out to the Chinese government to stop its religious persecution
Congressman Ted Poe of Texas provided a statement expressing his continuing commitment to call for justice for persecuted Falun Gong practitioners.
"It's been ten years since the Chinese government banned the practice of Falun-Gong and began its severe and brutal crackdown towards those who practice its principles of truthfulness, benevolence, and forbearance.
"The practitioners of this ancient practice have been beaten, tortured, and illegally imprisoned for simply seeking to peacefully carryout their commitment to their religion. Hundreds of stories from victims of persecution have flowed out of China and poured into the ears of sympathizers from all over the world.
"Americans are privileged to live in this great nation where democracy is the rule of law. Unfortunately, not everyone is as blessed. As such, I feel a certain responsibility to speak out for those whose freedom has been cut short and whose voice has been silenced by an oppressive regime.
"Last year, I had the opportunity to cosponsor a resolution that called upon China to end the human right abuses of its citizens. Seeing as little has changed, I once again call out to the Chinese government to stop its religious persecution and allow its' citizens to freely practice their spiritual beliefs. Too many innocent men and women have died, and although their deaths have not been in vain, it's time for change and that time is now."
Senator Mark Udall: I strongly support your efforts to speak out against the religious persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China
Senator Mark Udall from Colorado sent a statement to be read at the rally. In his address, the senator commended Falun Gong practitioners for traveling to Washington to protest the persecution in China, and expressed his continuing support.
"I strongly support your efforts to speak out against the religious persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. It has been reported that many of the people detained in Chinese "re-education through labor" camps are Falun Gong practitioners, detained solely on the basis of their beliefs. There are also several studies alleging that Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to physical and psychiatric abuse and that hundreds, if not thousands, have been killed in police custody.
"Falun Gong practitioners believe in the three principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. Your wish is merely the opportunity to peacefully practice your beliefs without fear of torture or imprisonment. The ability to practice both in China and in countries around the world should not be obstructed.
"I know my colleagues in the Senate join me in supporting Falun Gong and its practitioners' quest for peace and tolerance. Thanks to all of you for your relentless fight for religious freedom in China."
Congressman Mike Coffman: This brutal persecution of Falun Gong followers is unacceptable and cannot be permitted to stand
Congressman Mike Coffman of Colorado sent a letter expressing his concern over the persecution and called on the Chinese government to protect the basic rights of Falun Gong practitioners.
"I am very troubled that Chinese officials seem to be escalating the unwarranted persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. ...
"This brutal persecution of Falun Gong followers is unacceptable and cannot be permitted to stand."
"I strongly support the practitioners of Falun Gong in their struggle to practice their own form of spiritual discipline. A fundamentally peaceful spiritual and physical exercise poses no threat to the Chinese government. The only thing threatened is the personal freedoms of tens of millions of practicing Falun Gong followers. I would respectfully appeal to the Chinese government to take the appropriate steps to protect the basic human rights of Falun Gong practitioners in China."
Category: Voices of Support Worldwide