Today marks the 24th anniversary of the persecution of the spiritual discipline Falun Gong. It was on July 20, 1999, that then-Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin launched a vicious persecution of this group of peaceful meditators.
If you're a regular reader of The Epoch Times, you'll have noticed that we regularly cover this story, while many other media largely ignore it. That's because we understand its significance.
The story of Falun Gong not only matters due to sheer numbers—an estimated 70 million to 100 million people have been subjected to the most brutal of persecutions, including death by torture and the practice of forced organ harvesting, in which a victim’s organs are forcibly removed, often while the person is still alive.
It also matters because, just like with other religious persecution campaigns in history, it's a battle between good and evil, one in which everyone ultimately chooses a side.
The differences between the two sides couldn’t be more stark. On the one hand are people living by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance, pursuing goodness in their lives, and improving their moral character. They are a group that has, over decades, remained peaceful and courageous in the face of great adversity.
On the other hand, there is a communist regime that rules with absolute authority and will stop at nothing to maintain and expand its power.
While Falun Gong practitioners both inside and outside of China have used peaceful ways to clarify the truth about the persecution and expose the true nature of the CCP, the regime has used its ever-expanding totalitarian security and surveillance apparatus against them.
Falun Gong practitioners have encouraged others to become better people and developed innovative approaches, such as the “Quit the CCP” movement, to educate about the CCP’s evil nature. They have helped more than 415 million Chinese renounce their affiliation with the Communist Party and its related organizations.
Falun Gong practitioners also seek to revive and promote traditional culture through the inimitable performances of Shen Yun Performing Arts, which now stages shows in around 150 cities globally each year.
Meanwhile, the CCP, throughout its history, has used its power to launch political campaigns such as "the Great Leap Forward," the "anti-rightist movement," and the "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" to destroy traditional culture and consolidate power.
In persecuting Falun Gong, the CCP ensnared all of China, forcing everyone—from elites, to white collar professionals, to school children—to take pledges against the spiritual practice. The CCP has also used the persecution methods it honed against Falun Gong to attack other groups. The regime uses digital surveillance and censorship technology such as the "Golden Shield" against all of its citizens.
By using the entire state apparatus to persecute Falun Gong, the CCP has also thrown China into a moral abyss, enlisting a significant portion of Chinese society to carry out the persecution. Furthermore, by launching a war on kindness and goodness, the CCP further promotes degenerate and immoral behaviors.
The CCP hasn't stopped at its own borders. The regime is actively trying to export this morally bereft model of techno-totalitarianism around the world. It has used its influence, both political and economic, to sway countries to join its orbit.
The persecution of Falun Gong has been a key undercurrent of U.S.–China relations for the past two decades. While the CCP has historically insisted Falun Gong is a no-go topic, only to be discussed in private, the United States has increasingly taken a more direct stance against the communist regime over the persecution.
The CCP has used all kinds of incentives and disincentives to persuade media organizations, businesses, and governments around the world to look away while it continues persecuting Falun Gong.
And as the world avoided facing this atrocity, the CCP’s poison penetrated deeply.
It has relentlessly pursued its goals of exterminating the human conscience and “liberating all mankind.” Many of the world’s current ills and chaos can be traced back to the CCP’s machinations. In order to address these problems, it's important that people around the world recognize the CCP’s agenda.
Recent examples abound, such as the CCP’s efforts to subvert U.S. institutions, aid the flow of deadly fentanyl into America, and facilitate the global spread of COVID-19 by covering up its outbreak. Beyond these examples, the CCP’s influence can be found behind most deadly regimes and terrorist groups operating in the world today.
While the world has woken up in recent years to the threats posed by the CCP, Falun Gong practitioners have been at the forefront of exposing them for decades. If all countries around the world can see the CCP as clearly as Falun Gong practitioners do, and actively oppose it, the world will look very different.
This situation forces a choice on everyone: to stand on the side of goodness and kindness, or to stand on the side of the CCP.
So while many other media look away, The Epoch Times will remain front-and-center in covering this, what we consider one of the most vital underreported stories of our lifetime.