(Minghui.org) The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on May 1, 2024 released its 2024 Annual Report, which continued to list China as a “Country of Particular Concern” for its severe violation of the right to freedom of religion or belief, in addition to 11 other countries, including Russia, North Korea, and Cuba.

When USCIRF published its first annual report in May 2000, they were primarily concerned about China, Russia, and Sudan. Now 25 years later, China, under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), remains among the world’s worst violators of their people’s religious freedom.

USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. government advisory agency. Its main function is to monitor and report on religious freedom abroad and makes policy recommendations to the president, state department, and the Congress.

Screenshot of USCIRF’s 2024 Annual report

CCP Agents Engaged in Transnational Repression Charged by the U.S. Justice Department

The USCIRF 2024 report pointed out that the CCP continued to persecute Falun Gong in 2023, “often using ‘anti-cult’ provisions under Article 300 of China’s Criminal Law.” It cited Minghui.org’s annual persecution summaries, which reported 6,514 cases of harassment and arrest, 1,190 prison sentences, and 209 deaths as a result of the persecution.

The report also highlights the CCP’s transnational repression on overseas faith groups. It said, “In 2023, the Chinese government continued its transnational repression campaigns, targeting diaspora ethnic and religious communities with ties to China, including Uyghurs, Tibetans, Protestant Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners in countries such as the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.”

In April 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice arrested and charged Lu Jianwang and Chen Jinping for operating an illegal Chinese overseas police station in New York City. It’s estimated that there are over 100 secret police stations operated by the CCP agents in at least 53 countries. “Lu has a history of engaging in transnational repression on behalf of the Chinese government, targeting religious groups and dissidents on U.S. soil,” said the report.

In May 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice also charged John Chen and Lin Feng, for engaging in transnational repression against Falun Gong practitioners in the U.S.

The report also condemned the CCP’s “malign political influence campaigns, particularly its lobbying efforts in the U.S. Congress,” which represents “a particularly insidious form of political influence, aimed at shaping federal policymaking to further the Chinese government’s interests and goals.”

It urged the U.S. Congress to ban lobbyists from working for the CCP and its interests, for the greater good of the U.S. and religious freedom worldwide.

The Concerning Organ Harvesting Crime

In the “Key U.S. Policy” section, the report mentioned that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act in March 2023, which seeks to sanction those involved in the CCP’s state-sponsored live organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, particularly Falun Gong practitioners and Uyghurs.

Representative Chris Smith speaks on the House floor in March 2023

Representative Chris Smith, who introduced the bill, said on the House floor before the vote, “State-sponsored forced organ harvesting is a big business for the Chinese Communist Party and shows absolutely no sign of abating. Every year, under the Chinese Communist Party, between 60,000 and 100,000 young victims, average age 28, are murdered in cold blood to steal their organs. These crimes against humanity are unimaginably cruel.”

Recommendations to the U.S. Government

In its recommendations to the U.S. government, the report suggested to “redesignate China as a ‘country of particular concern,’ or CPC, for engaging in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom, as defined by the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA),” and “continue imposing sanctions, in coordination with partners, to target Chinese officials and entities responsible for severe religious freedom violations, especially within the CCP’s United Front Work Department and the public security and state security apparatus.”