(Minghui.org) When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a nationwide campaign targeting Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, it expected to eradicate the group in a few months. After all, throughout the CCP’s decades-long rule, few targeted individuals, organizations, or ideologies had survived its ruthless brutality.

However, Falun Gong, a meditation system based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, is still standing strong after 22 years of relentless persecution and is practiced by millions of people around the world.

The CCP’s severe human rights violations of Falun Gong practitioners have caught the attention of officials from all over the world. On July 20, 2020, two Canadian Parliament Members (Peter Kent and Judy Sgro) and a Swedish Parliament Member (Ann-Sofie Alm) initiated a joint statement calling for an end to the persecution and the release of all detained Falun Gong practitioners.

Since then, more than 900 ministers and members of parliament, both current and former, in 35 countries and regions, have signed the joint statement to stop the persecution in China.

Among these officials, about 500 are from 23 European countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Norway, Finland, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Romania, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, and Cyprus.

Winning More Support Over the Years

Since the CCP began the suppression in 1999, practitioners inside and outside of China have been clarifying the facts to people around the world, including government officials, non-governmental organizations, and the general public.

In Europe, practitioners have gone to Chinese embassies and consulates to demonstrate the Falun Gong exercises and distribute informational materials to passersby. They've also participated in community events, held forums, established musical bands, and sponsored art exhibitions to inform the public of the atrocities in China.

Through these consistent efforts, many officials went from not knowing much about Falun Gong to having a better understanding of the persecution.

At events held around July 20, 2009, many European politicians in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Belgium openly expressed their support for Falun Gong. Gerard Batten, then Member of the European Parliament (MEP), praised practitioners for their courage at a rally on Parliament Square.

“I now know that for people to stand up and speak out in a country like China requires immense bravery. As we live in a free country, it is easy to forget the preciousness of the freedom that we enjoy,” he explained in an interview. “So I think that for me to speak for Falun Gong in public is the least I can do.”

Gerard Batten, then Member of the European Parliament (MEP), spoke at an event in July 2009.

Neville Farmer, a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament (MP) candidate, said he joined the event to oppose the CCP’s violations of human rights. In particular, its harvesting of organs from living Falun Gong practitioners was shameful.

Edward McMillan-Scott, former Vice-President of the European Parliament, remarked in 2009 that he often said the persecution of Falun Gong in China was a genocide. He said torture exists on a large scale in China and the majority of it targeted Falun Gong practitioners. The main purpose of the mistreatment was to force practitioners to renounce their belief. He called on international society to focus on those torture cases and hold the perpetrators accountable.

Stopping Organ Harvesting

As Falun Gong practitioners continued their efforts to resist the persecution, they won more and more support from elected officials. By 2019, more leaders in European countries, including MPs, had openly praised Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and expressed their admiration for practitioners’ courage to stand up to the CCP’s tyranny. They hoped practitioners would keep it up until people in China could freely practice their belief in Falun Gong.

Ulli Nissen, MP in Germany, attended the World Falun Dafa Day celebration in Frankfurt in May 2019. She said the persecution of Falun Gong in China made her angry and sad. In particular, the CCP’s torture and organ harvesting of practitioners must be stopped. She said the atrocities were frightening and disgusting, and that was why the persecution of Falun Gong in China was not acceptable.

MP Ulli Nissen attended the World Falun Dafa Day celebration in Frankfurt, Germany, in 2019.

The global pandemic, which started in early 2020, further helped the world to recognize how the CCP spreads misinformation and lies. As a result, officials have paid more attention to ending the crimes committed by the CCP.

The Senate of Belgium passed Resolution 7-162 on June 12, 2020, to condemn the CCP’s state-sanctioned organ harvesting from living prisoners of conscience, especially Falun Gong practitioners and Uyghurs. The resolution was sponsored by 10 senators and introduced on May 12. It was discussed in the Senate on June 8 and passed on June 12.

Several senators spoke on behalf of their respective political parties and condemned the CCP’s live organ harvesting. “I often see Falun Gong practitioners holding activities on Luxembourg Square [in front of the European Parliament],” remarked Senator Mark Demesmaeker. “They specifically call for an end to the terrifying and appalling criminal act of organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners.”

He said that China, under the autocracy of the CCP, has a strictly closed political system. This repressive system targets religious and minority groups, such as Falun Gong practitioners, as well as Christians and ethnic minorities. These groups have been turned into a live organ donor bank under this totalitarian political system. Demesmaeker added that forced organ harvesting is a crime and that these illegal acts must be punished.

Traditional Values

For World Falun Dafa Day celebrations in May 2021, the European Falun Dafa Association received congratulatory letters from many government officials, including 23 Irish federal MPs. The letters highlighted the benefits of Falun Dafa and the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. They also expressed the hope that the suppression in China would end soon.

The European Falun Dafa Association received congratulatory letters from 23 Irish federal MPs in honor of the 2021 World Falun Dafa Day.

Professor Margot Ruth Aline Lister, Baroness Lister of Burtersett, Member of the House of Lords, said in her letter, “'Truthfulness, compassion and tolerance’ are important principles not just in everyday life but also in politics. I’m therefore pleased to send you this brief message of support for Falun Dafa Day.”

“As Lord Mayor of the City of Exeter and on behalf of its citizens I would like to add my message of support to the Falun Dafa Community,” wrote The Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor of Exeter, Councillor Peter Holland. “The values of the Falun Dafa Community: truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, are my values and if adopted across all Nations then I am confident that the World will be a much better place.”

Alan Robert Haworth, Baron Haworth, Member of the House of Lords, wrote in his congratulatory letter, “It is profoundly disappointing that the persecution continues. The world needs more of the essential values of truthfulness, harmony, compassion and tolerance, not less. And not just in China. I am very happy to add my support to your campaign.”

Similar letters were received from officials in other countries. MFP Ulli Nissen from Germany wrote in her letter that Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance were respected and peaceful values. She condemned the CCP’s persecution and called for an end to the brutality.

“The practitioners not only gained a better physical condition but also gained new spiritual confidence and found a harmonious, peaceful and happy life,” MHP Heiko Kasseckert wrote. “There have been practitioners in almost all countries in the world, and millions of people have exercised and lived according to the values of truth, compassion, and tolerance, which are values worthy of respect. In the days when the plague is raging, these values are especially important to us.”

“The values of 'Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance' represented by Falun Gong are noble and worthy of respect, and they need to be guaranteed through policies. However, the Chinese government's approach to Falun Gong is exactly the opposite. It has no respect, no humanity and no rule of law," wrote MSP Oliver Stirbock in his letter. ‘The international community must pay attention to these crimes. Your existence is good, and the Liberal Democratic Party is on your side.”

Karin Müller of the Hesse State Parliament, Martina Feldmayer, and Miriam Dahlke of the Hesse State Parliament sent a letter of greeting on behalf of the Greens. They wrote: “We sincerely congratulate the May 13 World Falun Dafa Day. In the face of the CCP's ongoing persecution and violence, you still peacefully pursue Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance, which is admirable.”

Michael Gahler, Member of the European Parliament, said the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are universal values. They are applicable in religions, politics, and everyday life.

Officials from Switzerland agreed. Luc Barthassat, Senator of the City of Geneva, said Falun Dafa reminds us that traditional values and human rights are very important. He noted that the practice is based on the values of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, which are noble values that represent hope for humanity.

Emmanuel Deonna, Deputy at Grand Council of Canton de Genève, said the principles that Falun Gong practitioners embrace, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, are critical to mankind.

Standing Together

In speeches and in congratulatory letters, many European officials said they are willing to stand with Falun Gong practitioners against the totalitarian CCP.

At the World Falun Dafa Day celebration in May 2020, Ines Claus, chair of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Germany, said she was fully aware of the persecution of Falun Gong in China. She wrote in her letter that she and her colleagues were working on stopping the persecution. Although the persecution of Falun Gong continues, she believed that the courage of Falun Gong practitioners will stop the persecution in the near future.

In her May 2020 letter, the Swiss National Council member Martina Munz pointed out that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is solely responsible for the tragedies that have happened to Falun Gong practitioners. The persecution in China underscores the urgency of safeguarding human rights, freedom of belief, and our consciences.

Munz said that ever since taking power in 1949, the totalitarian CCP regime has ignored human rights, freedom of speech, and religious freedom. It has instigated battles between social groups and employed exhaustive means to try to destroy mankind. With all the media in China censored and personal freedom restrained, ordinary citizens are brainwashed like inmates living in countless labor camps.

Munz also pointed out that about 70 million people have lost their lives during the CCP’s numerous political movements. This translates to more than 2,700 lives per day on average, since the CCP took power 70 years ago. One of the worst aspects of the persecution of Falun Gong is the CCP’s organ trade, or killing for organs. Many Falun Gong practitioners have become victims of this atrocity.

Munz called on Falun Gong practitioners and their supporters to continue their peaceful efforts to oppose the CCP's persecution. These efforts will improve human rights in China and restore the dignity of the Chinese people, bringing hope to China and the world. She thanked practitioners for their perseverance and welcomed more joint efforts.

A German politician expressed his support for Falun Gong at the World Falun Dafa Day celebration in May 2021. “Dear Falun Gong group from Hesse, I extend my highest respect for your dedication and the awakening brought to society. No one should be persecuted or even killed because of their beliefs or spiritual pursuits. This is true everywhere in the world,” wrote MHP Dirk Bamberger in Germany, “I wish you more strength and courage to continue to draw attention to these atrocities, and I hope you continue to save many lives in the future. Please persist in condemning these infringements and spreading Falun Gong, so that more people can understand it.”

“The UK Government must take a principled stand when it comes to defending freedom of religion and speech around the world, and I have been working to push the UK Government to hold Chinese authorities accountable for their systematic abuse of ethnic and religious minorities, including Falun Gong practitioners,” wrote Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion in House of Commons, in May 2021. “In celebration of Falun Dafa Day I would like to express my solidarity with Falun Gong practitioners around the world, and to redouble my commitment to defending human rights and protecting religious minorities from repression.”

The persecution of Falun Gong by the CCP has lasted 22 years. These 500 or so supportive officials from 23 European countries are not merely numbers. Rather, it indicates the CCP was doomed when it started to challenge traditional values, such as Falun Gong's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. What’s unfolding now is an opportunity for more people to step forward and reject the regime.

Related Report:Over 900 Lawmakers in 35 Countries and Regions Sign a Joint Statement Urging to Stop the Persecution of Falun Gong

Chinese version available

Category: Voices of Support Worldwide