On the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution of Falun Dafa, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla) issued a statement commemorating the fallen victims and demanding that the Communist regime release all imprisoned Falun Dafa practitioners.

Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a spiritual discipline of the Buddha School based on the principles of Truth-Benevolence-Tolerance. It is accompanied by five gentle exercises that help practitioners improve their physical and mental health.

Rubio—who is a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee—honored the innocent victims of persecution on July 20, the 22nd anniversary of systematic persecution, which continues to this day.

“As we mark the 22nd anniversary of the beginning of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) brutal crackdown against the Falun Gong spiritual movement, I honor the lives of the hundreds of thousands, perhaps more than a million, innocent Chinese who have been targeted because of their spiritual beliefs,” wrote the Senator.

He also condemned the torture and rape suffered by practitioners in forced labor camps and detention centers, as well as allegations of forced organ removal.

“CCP officials have subjected Falun Gong practitioners to physical and sexual assault, forced labor, and torture to make them renounce their beliefs. Even more disturbing are the credible allegations of forced organ harvesting”, he said.

Rubio also stressed that persecution is not a matter of the past, but continues to this day, and gave some examples of victims today.

“Unfortunately, the cruelty continues unabated to this day.  For example, on April 23, 2021, security agents in Shandong province broke into the home of Zhou Deyong and detained him on the charge of “sabotaging the enforcement of laws by organizing and utilizing cult organizations.” Mr. Zhou was formally arrested on May 31 for possessing Falun Gong materials that belonged to his wife in the United States.  In July 2016, security agents in Yuxi municipality in Yunnan province detained Deng Cuiping and four others for publicly distributing materials promoting Falun Gong.  The Eshan County People’s Court tried the five in February 2017, and sentenced Deng to 6 years in prison. Deng served 3 years in prison from 2006 to 2009 as a result of her practice of Falun Gong. Countless others have suffered for their belief in Falun Gong,” the Senator wrote.

Finally, the senator called on Beijing to respect freedom of belief and release all practitioners who are imprisoned in various detention centers in China.

“I call on Beijing to stop undermining freedom of religion, and to once and for all end the ban on Falun Gong practice. The CCP must release all individuals and practitioners who are held in prisons and in various detention centers throughout China.”

About Falun Dafa and the Persecution

Falun Dafa was first introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in Changchun, China, in 1992. The spiritual discipline is now practiced in more than 100 countries and regions around the world, freely and openly.

An estimated 100 million people embraced the teachings in China and the discipline began to spread widely and improve the health and moral standards of those who practiced it.

Falun Dafa practitioners in Shenyang City in 1998 (Minghui.org)

According to Minghui.org, former CCP leader Jiang Zemin saw the growing popularity of the spiritual discipline as a threat to the CCP’s atheistic ideology and on July 20, 1999, issued an order to ban the practice.

In addition, there is concrete evidence that the CCP carries out organ harvesting from detained Falun Dafa practitioners, who are killed to supply the lucrative organ transplant business.

Under Jiang’s personal direction, the CCP established the 610 Office, an extralegal security organization with the power to override the police and judicial systems and whose sole function is to carry out the persecution of Falun Dafa.