Falun Gong practitioners Jiang Heu, left, Adam Miller and Felice Boewe visited Leavenworth earlier this week on a grassroots campaign to raise awareness of China's alleged organ harvesting of Chinese citizens. "Falun Gong" may not be a household term in Leavenworth, but nearby practitioners of the movement are hoping to build awareness of it all across Kansas.
Practitioners of this ancient Chinese discipline visited Leavenworth Wednesday as part of a grassroots campaign to spread awareness of alleged crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Chinese government.
These devotees of Falun Gong, hailing from Lawrence and Kansas City, are taking their message to cities across Kansas in an "SOS Car Tour." Visiting city officials, libraries and the media, they are informing residents that the Chinese government is reportedly harvesting organs of Falun Gong followers in the Communist nation. Kansas City resident Felice Boewe and Lawrence resident Adam Miller visited Leavenworth as part of their tour of 20 Kansas cities. Boewe, who was born in China, said that the persecution of Falun Gong members is not well-known in China or internationally because of the communist government's suppression of information. Falun Gong has thousands of followers in the United States, Boewe and Miller said. In China, there are reportedly 100 million Falun Gong followers.
The large scope and decidedly non-conformist nature of the movement have caused the communist government to consider it a threat, Boewe explained. It was banned in China in July 1999.
Chinese lawyers are not allowed to represent Falun Gong members, she said. Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, is based on the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance," Boewe said. A physical and spiritual discipline, Falun Gong incorporates exercises and philosophical beliefs to improve the health and well-being of its practitioners, she said.
This year, David Matas, international human rights lawyer, and David Kilgour, former Secretary of State for Canada, have released a "Report Into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China," detailing the evidence for this gruesome practice.
There are reportedly 36 concentration camps filled with Falun Gong practitioners who are killed so that their organs may be sold at a profit.
"It is earth-shaking news," Boewe said. "We decided we had to take that to the local people."
Like the persecution of Christians in China, the persecution of Falun Gong members by the communist government is inevitable, Boewe said. Its spiritual philosophy runs counter to the communist government's atheist teachings. Falun Gong, as an ancient Chinese discipline, also undermines the government's attempt to destroy the nation's pre-communist traditions, she said.
Boewe reported that 85 percent of the vast number of organs in China are sold to foreigners. Unlike elsewhere in the world, organs are readily available at many hospitals in China.
"When you go to China, in a week you get a kidney, in two weeks you get a liver," Boewe said.
A number of these foreigners are Americans, and Boewe feels certain that if those considering a transplant from China knew the possible origin of the organs, they would look elsewhere.
"I know American people are for humanity and justice," Boewe said. "Tell everybody you know this is happening -- call your congressmen."
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