Unites States Commission on International Religious Freedom 2020 Report
Released on April 29th, the 2020 USCIRF report states that organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners is ongoing in China. On page 14 the report states, “Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners were arrested during 2019 for practicing the movement’s meditation exercises or distributing literature about their beliefs.” Citing a research paper from BMC Medical Ethics, the report states, “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.”
According to the report, China remains a “Country of Particular Concern” for human rights abuses for 21 years in a row.
The USCIRF Committee suggested the U.S. government “impose targeted sanctions on Chinese government agencies and officials responsible for severe violations of religious freedom … by freezing those individuals’ assets and/or barring their entry into the United States.”
U.S. Department of State’s 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom
The U.S. DOS 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom was introduced during a June 10, 2020 press conference given by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who said, “In China, state-sponsored repression against all religions continues to intensify. The Chinese Communist Party is now ordering religious organizations to obey CCP leadership and infuse communist dogma into their teachings and practice of their faith. The mass detentions of Uighurs in Xinjiang continue. So does the repression of Tibetans and Buddhists and Falun Gong and Christians.”
The report, which the DOS is required to present to Congress annually, states, “During the year, two international academic studies examined the country’s transplant system. These studies revealed new information about reports of the government’s practice of forcibly extracting organs from prisoners, including religious adherents.” The report notes that it is becoming increasingly difficult for the Chinese regime to deny the existence of widespread organ harvesting.
In a recent article, Bitter Winter details how religious believers in China, including those of the five registered and government-controlled authorized religions, are routinely illegally detained without legal representation and suffer severe physical and psychological torture.
Presidential Executive Order Instructs the U.S. Government to Prioritize Religious Freedom
An executive order to advance international religious freedom issued by U.S. President Donald Trump on June 2, 2020 was the first ever executive order that instructs the entire U.S. Government to prioritize religious freedom. USCIRF Chair Tony Perkins said, “This Executive Order encourages swift action by the U.S. government to hold accountable foreign governments that commit severe violations and substantially increases U.S. economic assistance to support programs that advance religious freedom around the world.”