Last Thursday, a particularly hot and humid day in Washington, DC, I spoke at the annual rally for freedom in China at the U.S. Capitol, sponsored by the Falun Gong. Joining members of Congress and other human rights advocates, I expressed my solidarity with all those who yearn for religious and political freedom in the People’s Republic of China, and my admiration for their intrepid spirits.
I marvel at the thousands of Falun Gong practitioners and other supporters that come every year and sit under the blazing sun to protest the Chinese Communist government’s egregious treatment of its own people. I marvel even more that these dedicated freedom fighters have encouraged 243 million Chinese to renounce the Communist Party.
The Chinese Communist regime has been cracking down on the Falun Gong since 1999, arresting, imprisoning, torturing, and killing practitioners for being members of an “evil cult.” As a Christian, I am not a Falun Gong practitioner, of course, but I believe in religious freedom for all people. I have extra compassion for those who do not know they can “lean on the Everlasting Arms” of our Lord.
For eleven years I have been joining the rally for freedom in China with the Falun Gong. Below is my speech from this year’s rally:
What Will It Take?
Thank you for the honor of speaking to you today. This is the 17th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s merciless crackdown on Falun Gong. The first time I stood with you here at the U.S. Capitol was 2005 – eleven years ago! And the Institute on Religion and Democracy continues to stand in solidarity with you in working for freedom for all of the Chinese people, and to pray that God will bless your efforts and bring freedom to China.
There have been many victories along way. There have been so many courageous men and women who have made a difference. And millions of Chinese citizens have been encouraged to renounce the Communist Party. But in spite of these victories, the persecution, imprisonment, torture, and death of those that oppose the Communist Party Ruling Class – Falun Gong practitioners, Christians, democracy advocates, and Tibetan and Uyghur activists, as well as the forced repatriation of desperate North Korean refugees and the forced abortion and gendercide of baby girls goes on.Our question, our demand, is WHAT WILL IT TAKE? What will it take to wake up those who are sleeping while fellow children of God are being persecuted and killed in China? What will it take to stop the egregious human rights abuses of the Chinese Communist regime and bring freedom to China?
Many people who were sleeping and apathetic to the persecution and genocide of Christians, Yezidis, and others in the Middle East by ISIS were awakened by the horrific videos of Christian prisoners being beheaded on a Libyan seashore. Will people who are sleeping through the persecution, torture, and death of Falun Gong practitioners, Christian dissidents, and others be awakened by the new report from David Kilgour, David Matas, and Ethan Gutmann showing the widespread and systematic harvesting of organs from live prisoners in China?
Our great human rights heroes in Congress, U.S. Representatives Chris Smith and Dana Rohrabacher, just held another hearing to present the evidence from this report. And on June 13, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3694, the Strategy to Oppose Predatory Organ Trafficking Act. That bill amends the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and requires more diplomatic action to stop organ trafficking and requires reporting on the issue by the State Department. The bill is now in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations where it has been for one month.
What will it take for United States Senate to act? To pass this important bill to stop organ trafficking as their colleagues in the House did? Chinese citizens are being sacrificed for their organs – citizens who oppose the Chinese Communist regime. What will it take for the world to stop this evil practice?
We are grateful to the many heroes in the United States Congress – some who are here today — who have fought against persecution in China. We urge our government to continue to work for human rights and religious freedom for China, always linking human rights with trade, with security, and with every other relationship we attempt to forge with the Government of China.
The Institute on Religion & Democracy will do everything in our power to help wake the world to this horror of organ harvesting, and the continuing persecution of Falun Gong, the Christian Church and others who long for freedom. Thank you once again for allowing me to share this anniversary with you. May God bless you, and may God bless all the Chinese people.