The Spiritual Persecution of Falun Gong Practitioners in China – UAB Institute for Human Rights Weblog

A parade of people wearing bright yellow outfits with red accents walk down the streets with drums.
Falun Gong is distinguished by its vivid yellow and crimson signature colours. Supply: Yahoo! Photos

Content material Warnings: imprisonment, non secular persecution, torture, trafficking, rape, brainwashing

Falun Gong, formally often called Falun Dafa, is a type of qigong, which roughly interprets to ‘cultivation.’ Qigong is much like yoga or tai chi and focuses on the perfection and refinement of thoughts and physique. Falun Gong takes this a step additional and incorporates the cultivation of morality and advantage. In 1992, Li Hongzhi launched the follow to China. Because the follow grew in recognition, pleasure in regards to the well being and wellness advantages related to the custom have flourished. Not solely this, however the tradition of Falun Gong skilled a rediscovery of historic Chinese language philosophies combining components of Daoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.

Authorities Involvement

The Chinese language authorities largely celebrated the follow all through the Nineties, however on April twenty fifth, 1999, the Chinese language Communist Social gathering (CCP), led by Jiang Zemin, launched a violent marketing campaign towards Falun Gong by issuing a letter expressing their want to see Falun Gong destroyed. The atheist communist regime, which notoriously guidelines by the specter of pressure, was itself threatened by the emphasis on morality and conventional Chinese language tradition present in practitioners. 

Since 1999, a company known as Mates of Falun Gong has reported instances of torture, disappearance, brainwashing, rape, and loss of life of Falun Gong practitioners by the CCP. When an individual dies whereas imprisoned, households are instructed that their beloved one dedicated suicide or died of a illness, however the our bodies are cremated earlier than proof will be gathered. Notably, a comparatively new growth alleges that many of those detainees are victims of organ trafficking.

A sign on a busy Chinese street reads, “Eradicate-Falun Gong Evil Cult.” The sign is sponsored by Hong Kong Youth Care Association Limited.
The CCP baselessly accuses Falun Gong of being an evil cult. In China, they’re neither evil nor a cult. Supply: Yahoo! Photos

By propaganda campaigns, the CCP has categorized Falun Gong as a xiejiao, which in some contexts has related implications to the phrase ‘cult.’ Personally, as somebody who actively research faith and cults, I might not qualify the follow as a cult, because it doesn’t move any extensively accepted assessments qualifying organizations as cults.

Propaganda and Unclear Beliefs of Americanized Model

In my analysis about Falun Gong, I discovered very conflicting details about the ethical beliefs of practitioners. Formally, they’ve three important tenets: Zhen, Shan, and Ren, which translate to truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, respectively. They emphasize historic Chinese language values and, by my analysis, maintain a type of advantage ethics. So far as I can inform, the model being practiced in China is unharmful and helpful to its practitioners. The connection between Chinese language practitioners of Falun Gong and the Americanized model primarily based in New York is unclear. The next are productions of the official group of Falun Dafa.

A dancer flies through the air in a split. She is wearing a long flowy skirt that she pulls around her head in the shape of a lily pad. In the blue background, you can see buildings with Chinese-style architecture.
Shen Yun posters embody dancers with lengthy flowy skirts dancing elegantly. Supply: Yahoo! Photos

Shen Yun is a dance-based efficiency/manufacturing sponsored and arranged by Falun Dafa. They’re primarily based in New York Metropolis and carry out internationally however don’t carry out in China for concern of persecution. The efficiency has themes of anti-Marxism, anti-atheism, and a passing occasion of homophobia. Jio Tolentino, a author for the New Yorker, noticed the present twice in New York and calls the manufacturing uncanny and unsettling. All through my analysis, I’ve not discovered any cases of China-based practitioners personally expressing the themes seen in Shen Yun.

The Epoch Times

The Epoch Instances is a newspaper sponsored by and related to Falun Dafa. Whereas claiming to be “unbiased,” they put up far-right opinion items and facet with Trump in lots of their political articles. To anybody with an ear tuned to the sound of right-wing canine whistles, the Epoch Instances web site is loud, high-pitched, and painful. Once more, I’ve not discovered any cases of China-based practitioners expressing the dangerous themes discovered within the Epoch Instances. It appears to me that the Americanized model of Falun Gong is a dangerous model of what’s being practiced and persecuted in China.

Spiritual Rights and Persecution

Human rights, with respect to an individual’s faith, is a sophisticated topic. Too typically, we see individuals utilizing the excuse of spiritual freedom to behave in a bigoted method towards sure communities. Faith is a private follow meant, consciously or in any other case, to assist an individual address and perceive the trials and tribulations of present as a human on this world. Typically, that faith will include a set of morals that every practitioner decides to comply with. Folks have a pure proper to follow their very own faith and to find out their very own ethical codes with out persecution or intervention. However, as with each proper, this solely extends insofar because it doesn’t impede the rights of others.

Three people in bright yellow outfits with red accents stand back-to-back while holding three different poses commonly seen in the practice of Falun Gong.
Falun Gong practitioners should be secure of their nations. They deserve the area to domesticate their spirituality with out concern of persecution. Supply: Yahoo! Photos

The CCP have to be held accountable for imprisoning, torturing, and trafficking the organs of Falun Gong practitioners in China. These individuals are not impeding on the rights of others. They peacefully follow truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance whereas aligning their physique and thoughts via qigong. In accordance with my working definition of faith, no person deserves to face non secular persecution. Everybody has a proper to resolve how they may come to phrases with and address their very own existence. It will be significant that, as people, we maintain sure areas secure for individuals to domesticate their spirituality. By taking away each area that could be secure for these individuals to follow, the CCP is violating their rights. 

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