U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom: Forced Organ Harvesting in China Cannot Be Ignored
(Minghui.org) Sam Brownback, the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, emphasized the human rights violations in China during an interview with the Epoch Times on August 31, 2020. “China was at war with faith. It is a war they will not win,” he said, “It’s a war that the kingdom of man has tried to win for millennia, and they’re not going to win this one and they haven’t won it in the past.”
Among the groups suppressed in China is Falun Gong, he added. The severe persecution, such as forced organ harvesting, was ignored by many people in the international community. “And think about that just mentally, that you’re taking and persecuting this individual. You’re going to kill them, and then harvest their organs to sell them. This is just horrific [what’s] taking place,” he said.
One month ago, Brownback wrote an article emphasizing humanity. Titled “Humanity Will Win the Battle for Religious Freedom – Here’s Why,” the article was published on the website of the U.S. State Department on July 28, 2020. “This is our humanity, the awe-inspiring tapestry of goodness that binds us together. This is what happens when we are free to believe or not believe – and to act on those beliefs – as our conscience leads. Humanity is why religious freedom will always win out against governments and nonstate actors seeking to repress and control it,” he wrote.
Such tragedies have also been recognized by other U.S. government agencies and various organizations. The 2020 Annual Report published by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in April also mentioned the harsh persecution against Falun Gong in China. “Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners were arrested during 2019 for practicing the movement’s meditation exercises or distributing literature about their beliefs. Human rights advocates and scientists presented evidence that the practice of harvesting organs from prisoners—many of whom are believed to be Falun Gong practitioners—continued on a significant scale.”
Similarly, the Committee On the Present Danger: China (CPDC), an independent and non-partisan organization, issued a statement on May 27 requesting that the U.S. administration stand with freedom for the people of Hong Kong. In addition to curbing the CCP activities and implementing sanctions, it proposed that “A national effort should be made to identify and act to impede the CCP’s practice of organ genocide – the international marketing and implantation of organs involuntarily and often murderously removed from members of religious and ethnic minorities, political prisoners and others.”
“If You Don’t Stand up to the Bully, They Just Keep Coming”
In his interview with the Epoch Times on August 31, Brownback started the conversation by saying that it is human nature to have dignified freedom. “It is in the innate nature of the human being to have dignified freedom. I just don’t think any government over an extended period of time can win this fight of tying people down from their freedom,” he explained, “It’s within us, it’s within our creative DNA that we want freedom.”
But serious challenges exist in places such as China. “...the destruction of the house church, the desire to control the Catholic Church, the persecution of Falun Gong, the credible reporting now of the taking place of organ harvesting,” he continued, “This is just across the board. It’s everywhere. It has gone more nationalistic.”
Brownback said that the CCP wanted to be a global leader, but it ended up “leading the world in persecution.” In the meantime, many people have not paid much attention to it. “For years, the world kind of turned a blind eye to what the Falun Gong was saying about organ harvesting,” he said. But now there is evidence available that supports its existence.
“We’re not talking about being in the 1800s or the 1940s. This is 2020 and this is happening. And it’s happening in our world today. I think it should be absolutely chilling to people to think that this is happening once they hear this,” he added. In fact, if the CCP is honest, it would have made the organ transplant system open for investigation, but it chose not to do so.
With many groups persecuted by the CCP, resisting it requires people to join forces in countering the totalitarian regime. “That’s been true throughout history. If you don’t stand up to the bully, they just keep coming,” Brownback explained, “Communism as a philosophy, has had trouble with faith from its very beginning. It’s always persecuted faith. It doesn’t have a space for believing in a higher moral authority. The higher moral authority is the Communist Party. They don’t abide by an allegiance to any sort of other authority and so, they may come at a smaller group, but they’re going to come after the next groups, and they perfect the systems.”
The Power of Good Human Nature
“There isn’t a government, entity, or person in the world that can confine the thoughts in our heads or hearts,” Brownback wrote in his July 28 article titled “Humanity Will Win the Battle for Religious Freedom – Here’s Why.”
Nonetheless, tyrannical governments such the Chinese Communist Party “may attempt to restrict our expression, practice, or sharing of those thoughts and beliefs. As people overcome these obstacles, such misfortunes could become opportunities that reveal true humanity.”
At the end of his article, Brownback said he has faith in humanity. “That is what each of these good news stories – and countless others like them – represent. Each one is an uplifting example of resilience, compassion, and dignity of the human spirit, underpinned by faith and belief. It is our humanity at work, and it is this very humanity that will win the ultimate battle for religious freedom,” he explained.