Ap.Biscom: Suppression of Freedom of Belief in China grows ever stronger

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Rome, Italy, January 17, 2002

(Ap.Biscom – a media service)

Falun Gong event in Rome, …

Human rights organizations and associations are deeply disturbed at the ever-increasing suppression of freedom of belief in China, especially against Falun Gong. According to a report in the New York Times, at least 3,000 individuals in China have been sentenced in 2001 for supposed infractions committed while practicing their belief system, and more than double that number have been killed. The highest numbers of those are Falun Gong practitioners. Forty Taiwanese practitioners [were present] today with members of the organization called “No one touches Cain!” in front of the Chinese embassy, to protest against this suppression.

Falun Gong originated in China hundreds of years ago; Master Li Hongzhi had introduced this system to the public in 1992, but it is not … limited to monasteries and cloisters. Nowadays, Falun Gong counts 100 million followers around the world. The Chinese government, however, did not look kindly upon Master Li’s non-political aims, who not only is not a Party member but also does not even accept any honorariums from his books – he distributes them for free [on the Internet].

Estimates vary, but it seems that over 100,000 practitioners have been arrested, 350 have died, 20,000 are enslaved in forced labor camps and approximately 1,000 who were incarcerated are languishing in psychiatric hospitals and institutions. The Chinese government, however, does not spare other religions organizations, either. The government’s hunting recently has been directed particularly against Christians who have preferred to remain independent and not belong to the “official,” Party-sanctioned church. Last December, a Protestant Christian and his younger relative were sentenced to death. This individual was the founder of the “Southern Chinese Church.” Concurrently, a show trial is in progress against a Chinese man accused of having imported 30,000 bibles from abroad.


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