July 20, 2019 marked the twentieth anniversary since the start of the Chinese government’s persecution of the peaceful spiritual movement Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa. Then Chinese leader Jiang Jemin’s initial intention was to wipe Falun Gong out in three months. Two decades later, Falun Dafa is still practiced by millions inside China as well as in over one hundred countries around the world. Only in mainland China is this faith-based movement persecuted. Throughout the rest of the world, Falun Dafa practitioners are known for the universal principles by which they live: Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance.
To mark the anniversary, Falun Dafa practitioners gathered in their respective countries to bring attention to the unjust imprisonment, brainwashing, torture and forced live organ harvesting of their fellow practitioners in China.
Health Europa wrote, “In capital cities across the world, including London, Washington, DC, New York, Sydney, Ottawa and other European capitals, tens of thousands of people will mark 20 years of persecution with peaceful protests. The protests are set to include candlelight vigils, marches and speeches delivered by survivors and leading experts on China’s criminal violations of human rights.”
Lucy Zhao, President of the Falun Dafa Association of Australia, was quoted by The Epoch Times describing the persecution as “a battle between goodness and evil” that is “shocking to all the governments, all the people who have conscience.” Wendy Rogers, Professor of Clinical Ethics at Macquarie University and chair of the international advisory committee for the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China, was also quoted as saying, “It is time for the transplant community to speak up and stop all transplant-related interactions with China until there is evidence that organs are procured ethically and prisoners of conscience are released.”
In recognition of the July 20th anniversary, Bärbel Kofler, the German Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, condemned the Chinese regime for the abuses it has committed against adherents of Falun Gong.
The Washington Free Beacon marked the anniversary with a summary of the Falun Dafa Information Center’s report “20 Years of Persecution & Resilience” about what Falun Dafa practitioners have suffered in China. In a statement to the Washington Free Beacon, Gayle Manchin, Vice Chair of the U.S. Commission of International Religious Freedom said, “The Chinese government’s brutal and ongoing assault on religion and faith is precisely why religious freedom needs to remain a priority for the U.S. government! It is high time to use all the tools at its disposal—including targeted sanctions against Chinese government officials—to hold China accountable for perpetuating these atrocities.”
The editorial staff of The Epoch Times published a comprehensive article on July 20th detailing how Falun Gong practitioners have persevered in “their faith in the universal values of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance” despite “an unprecedented onslaught that applied every technique developed by the Communist Party throughout its long history of political repression.” The editors conclude, “It has been 20 years since the practitioners of Falun Gong began their peaceful appeal against the brutal violence meted out by a totalitarian regime. They have held up the torch of hope to break through the darkness of persecution. Their will to persevere are the legends of our generation, to be etched in eternal record and retold for ages to come.”