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    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
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    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘Spiritual’ Category

Event: China’s Policies Toward Spiritual Movements, roundtable discussion, by The Congressional-Executive Commission on China, June 18, 2010

Posted by Author on June 16, 2010


The Congressional-Executive Commission on China –

ROUNDTABLE

China’s Policies Toward Spiritual Movements (6/18/10)

Friday
, June 18, 2010, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Room 628, Dirksen Senate Office Building
Address: Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

Panelists will examine the Chinese government’s policies toward spiritual movements and the factors that drive its treatment of members of spiritual groups. The Chinese government has allowed space for some spiritual movements to operate in China, but has banned other groups, such as Falun Gong. Authorities have subjected members of Falun Gong and other banned groups to strict surveillance, and in some cases, imprisonment, detention outside the legal system, and other abuses. Why does the Chinese government consider some spiritual movements a threat? What challenges and prospects do Falun Gong practitioners face in China that adherents of other groups do not? What does the Chinese government’s treatment of spiritual movements mean for the future of religious freedom in China?

Panelists:

# James Tong, Professor, UCLA Department of Political Science
# Ethan Gutmann, Adjunct Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
# Mark Shan, Program in Philosophy, Theology and Ethics, Boston University
# Sarah Cook, Asia Research Analyst, Freedom House

CECC Roundtables are open to the public and no reservation is required.

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) was created by Congress in October 2000 with the legislative mandate to monitor human rights and the development of the rule of law in China, and to submit an annual report to the President and the Congress. The Commission consists of nine Senators, nine Members of the House of Representatives, and five senior Administration officials appointed by the President. The current (111th Congress) Chairman is Senator Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND) and the Cochairman is Representative Sander M. Levin (D-MI).

– from The Congressional-Executive Commission on China

Posted in China, Event, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights, News, Politics, Religion, Social, Spiritual, USA, World | Comments Off on Event: China’s Policies Toward Spiritual Movements, roundtable discussion, by The Congressional-Executive Commission on China, June 18, 2010

102-years-old Ohio Centenarian says Shen Yun “develops your soul more than anything else”

Posted by Author on May 15, 2010


Toledo, OHIO— Ms. Olga Boone, who will be 102-years-old this September, was in the audience at the Stranahan Theater on May 14 to experience Shen Yun Performing Arts.

“Every child should see this. This is life from the beginning to the end, and there is no end when you’ve got things like this to see and watch, you know. It’s fantastic! I think this is the thing that develops your soul more than anything else,” she said.

Toledo is a moderate-size river city at the edge of Lake Erie in the Great Lakes Region with a very active port. It is also known for its diverse architecture, which rivals Chicago.

The Toledo centenarian was inspired by the entire performance: “Love, love is responsible for this. It’s just so inspirational. You never see really old, old people out here like this. It took a lot to be here. It’s just so inspirational, and I am going to keep on going, keep on going,” Ms. Boone said.

Shen Yun is a celebration of China’s traditional arts. The elements for storytelling are a combination of beautiful traditional and ethnic dances, original orchestral music, gorgeous costumes, and state-of-the art interactive backdrops.

Having been a dancer all of her life, Ms. Boone said, “The people with certain talents … is a gift of God to all of us, and this show is so beautiful. It shows men and women at their best. They just keeping going on and doing wonderful things.”

Based in New York, Shen Yun is comprised of three dance companies and three orchestras, which will perform in over 100 cities in more than 20 countries during the 2010 world tour.

The next stop on the USA tour is Newark, New Jersey for three performances at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, May 22-23. ( The Epochtimes)

Related:
(video) Shen Yun in North America 2009 (1)-  USA: Reviews, Comments and Feedback from Audience

Posted in Arts, Chinese Culture, Chinese dance, Chinese music, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Event, Life, Music, News, Opinion, People, performing arts, Shen Yun show, shows, Spiritual, USA, World | Comments Off on 102-years-old Ohio Centenarian says Shen Yun “develops your soul more than anything else”

Speeches in Support of U.S. House Resolution 605 on Falun Gong (3)- by Representative LYNN WOOLSEY

Posted by Author on March 30, 2010


From the The Falun Dafa Information Center

[The U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 605 on March 16, 2010 (news). The voting was preceded by a 13-minute-long floor debate during which Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the resolution’s author and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs spoke, as did Representatives Diane Watson (D-CA) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), all in support of the declaration. Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), who could not attend the debate in person, submitted statements for the record. Below is the Congressional members’ full remarks.]

LYNN WOOLSEY (D-CA)

“First of all, I would like to thank the two women who are here bringing this resolution to the House floor. It’s so very important. I rise today in support of H. Res. 605, a resolution recognizing the continuing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

In 2002, Mr. Speaker, I authored a resolution expressing the sense of the Congress regarding the Chinese Government’s oppression of Falun Gong in the United States and in the People’s Republic of China. Sadly, 8 years later, the persecution continues. People are being sent to jail, to work camps and are assaulted for their practice of Falun Gong. China has claimed that the Falun Gong practitioners are “disturbing social order” and have labeled the practice an evil cult.

International media reports have found that over 100 Falun Gong followers have died in the custody of the Chinese Government. All people, even those in China, have the internationally recognized freedoms of association and religion. The Chinese Government must put a stop to this inhumane persecution. I urge my colleagues, stand up for human rights and vote “yes” on this resolution, H. Res. 605.”

– From The Falun Dafa Information Center

Related:
The complete text of U.S. House resolution 605: calling for an immediate end to the campaign to persecute, intimidate, imprison, and torture Falun Gong practitioners in China
Speeches in Support of U.S. House Resolution 605 on Falun Gong (1)- by Representative Diane Watson
Speeches in Support of U.S. House Resolution 605 on Falun Gong (2)- by Representative ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (video)

Posted in China, Commentary, Falun Gong, Human Rights, Law, News, People, politician, Politics, Religion, Religious, Social, Spiritual, Torture, USA, World | Comments Off on Speeches in Support of U.S. House Resolution 605 on Falun Gong (3)- by Representative LYNN WOOLSEY

‘My admiration is endless’, Says Vancouver Investment Adviser After Shen Yun Show

Posted by Author on March 27, 2010


VANCOUVER— A couple attending Shen Yun Performing Arts in Vancouver at Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Friday were struck by the spirituality shown in the performances.

“In Canada we see Chinese people working very hard, and to see that they have the time to be spiritual as well, is just very, very nice, very pleasurable to see,” says Andrew Muir, an investment adviser of 27 years with Bolder Investment Partners.

Vancouver boasts a significant Chinese population, and Chinese businesses and communities are located throughout the lower mainland. “My admiration is endless for [the Chinese people]” he states after seeing the show.

Mr. Muir’s wife, Kate Muir, is a student of theology. She said, “It’s very nice. I love the colors, I like what’s coming through the Chinese culture and as well the Chinese spirituality.”

“I liked as well the tiger and the tiger fights,[Wu Song Battles the Tiger] and how the heaven opens up and actually brings up the spirit of the woman who died—I liked that very much [Splitting the Mountain]”. …… (more details from The Epochtimes)

Posted in Canada, Chinese Culture, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Event, Life, Music, News, People, Shen Yun show, shows, Spiritual, World | Comments Off on ‘My admiration is endless’, Says Vancouver Investment Adviser After Shen Yun Show

Director at Roman Catholic Archdiocese: ‘Shen Yun has spoken to my heart’

Posted by Author on March 10, 2010


INDIANAPOLIS— Murat Theatre saw the final performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts on this leg of its 2010 World Tour on Wednesday, March 10. The audience were appreciative to have the opportunity to experience the millennia old Chinese culture through music and dance.

David Bethuram, CSS Executive Director at Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indiana was there and thoroughly enjoyed the performance.

“All it is very beautiful. The colors are absolutely amazing.”

“But what I really like about it is the spiritual tones to everything, to all the dances to all the music,” said Mr. Bethuram. Some of the performances depict heavenly beings and heavenly scenes touching people’s hearts and inspiring them to become more moral in their lives.

Shen Yun has two emcees to explain the history behind the performances, thus enhancing the audience’s appreciation.

“The Tibetan dance [Tibetan Dance of Praise] was very, very well done—just very, very beautiful dancing. I really enjoyed the explanation before hand, so that we get a feeling of why the dancers are dancing the way they are. So it has been a beautiful show.” …… (more from the Epochtimes)

Posted in Chinese Culture, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Event, Life, Music, News, Shen Yun show, shows, Spiritual, World | Comments Off on Director at Roman Catholic Archdiocese: ‘Shen Yun has spoken to my heart’

Founder of Falun Dafa Recognized as an ‘Outstanding Spiritual Leader’

Posted by Author on September 28, 2009


By Albert Roman, Epoch Times Staff, Sep 28, 2009 –

Mr. Li Hongzhi is recognized for his outstanding spiritual leadership and his peaceful contributions to improving morality and promoting traditional Chinese culture. (The Epoch Times)

Mr. Li Hongzhi is recognized for his outstanding spiritual leadership and his peaceful contributions to improving morality and promoting traditional Chinese culture. (The Epoch Times)

BALDWIN PARK, Calif.—A packed ballroom of over 200 human rights defenders and supporters joined the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation awards ceremony to acknowledge the efforts of nine individuals Saturday evening, Sept. 26. The ceremony was held in Baldwin Park, 15 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Award recipients came from as far as China to receive the honor.

The Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation was founded in New Zealand, and moved to Los Angeles in June 2008. It has chambers in Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and several European countries.

Eight of the awards were given to individuals for outstanding work in the field of human rights.

An attentive audience at the 2009 Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation awards ceremony in Baldwin Park, CA. (The Epoch Times)

An attentive audience at the 2009 Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation awards ceremony in Baldwin Park, CA. (The Epoch Times)

Among the recipients were Pastor Eddie Romero, who was arrested in China in 2008 during the Olympics for protesting the Chinese government’s human rights abuses; Chris Wu, President of China Interim Government, Wu Gan, a now well-known Internet user who helped expose Chinese government officials’ attempted rape of Ms. Deng Yujiao; and Dr. Yang Jianli, a 2005 recipient who was still in jail in China at the time of his award. Dr. Yang is a Harvard Fellow who was arrested in China in 2002 for helping labor unions utilize non-violent struggle strategies.

Among the nine awards, one special award was given to Mr. Li Hongzhi, Founder of Falun Dafa, for outstanding spiritual leadership and his contributions to improving morality and promoting traditional Chinese culture.

Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong, is a type of Qigong that includes four sets of exercises, meditation, and a moral discipline based on the principle of truthfulness-compassion-forbearance. By 1999, the Chinese government estimated that 70 to 100 million people were practicing Falun Dafa, which didn’t sit well with Jiang Zemin, China’s former communist ruler.

In July 1999, the Chinese government banned Falun Dafa and China’s state-controlled media began a campaign to slander the practice. Over the past 10 years, human rights organizations and experts have noted that Falun Dafa has been the most severely persecuted group in China.

Youfu Li, chairman of the U.S. Western Falun Dafa Association, accepted the award.  He said, “Mr. Li Hongzhi taught the principle of truthfulness-compassion-forbearance around the world. He helped improved people’s morality. Over the past 10 years the communist party has persecuted many people. Over the years, Falun Gong practitioners have used compassion to expose the Chinese communist party and save people’s conscience.”

Christian Pastor, Eddie Romero, had this to say about Mr. Li Hongzhi’s award:  “Well, I think it’s wonderful that we’re on the same side together on the same issue. To be able to stand together against the People’s Republic of China for their oppressive ways, I think that’s a powerful thing. I’m excited to be able to stand there and also to receive along with the Falun Gong leader the awards, because again, we’re standing on the same side of this issue, and to me, it’s important that we stand shoulder to shoulder on this issue and not become fractured over it because I’m not a Falun Gong member and I know he’s not a Christian, but we share this together because we’re sisters and brothers whether they’re Falun Gong or House Christians.

“Our brothers and sisters are suffering because of the People’s Republic of China. So, I am happy and proud to stand side-by-side, even if we don’t share the same faith, but nevertheless we have the same understanding about the People’s Republic of China, and I think we both want to see a free China.”

Dr. Yang Jianli, Fellow at Harvard University, and President of Initiatives for China, said: “I’m glad to learn that Mr. Li Hongzhi won this award, and I think he deserves this award. In the past 10 years, Falun Gong represents the most persecuted group in China, and ever since the Chinese government started the persecution against Falun Gong practitioners, the practitioners have been working so hard to break down the firewall erected by the Chinese government, among other things. They work closely with other human rights activists to try to bring the ideas of human rights and even the concrete plans of how to change China back to China, which played a very important role in the past 10 years in this movement. In this sense, I think Mr. Li deserves this award.

“We as a people in the free world should also be aware of the influence of the Chinese government on other countries. The Chinese government is behind Burma, for example. Pick any dictatorship in the world, and the Chinese government is behind it. So, Chinese problems are not only Chinese people’s problems; it’s a problem for the whole world. So, we need everybody to get involved to change the situation in China and make China to become a better place and to make the whole world a better place,” said Dr. Yang.

Mr. William Mei, the Executive Director of the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation, states “In the past several years, the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation has awarded over 20 individuals in the Asia-Pacific area. These people include Mr. Wei Jingsheng who received the Nobel Peace Prize nomination, Dr. Wang Bing Zhang, and Hu Jia, who is currently detained in China.”

Last year the foundation gave an award to the Dalai Lama as well as to U.S. Congressman, Dana Rohrabacher for his dedication to human rights in asia.

“In the past year,” said Mei, “Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation attended at least 31 events supporting Asia-Pacific human rights. These events improved the human rights situations in these countries. Especially after March, when we established relationships with various American Associations and Unions.”

According to Mr. Mei, the foundation attended seven events organized by the U.S. Congress and successfully motivated the U.S. government to raise human rights issues while working with asian countries.  He hopes the U.S. will link human rights with trade in the future.

The Epochtimes

Posted in Asia, China, Event, Human Rights, News, People, Spiritual, World | Comments Off on Founder of Falun Dafa Recognized as an ‘Outstanding Spiritual Leader’

(video) A Decade of Courage (Part 3)- China’s Hidden Holocaust

Posted by Author on July 20, 2009


NTDTV, Via Youtube, Jun. 11, 2009 –

Thursday, June 10th, 1999. To most of us, it’s like any other day. But ten years ago today, the Chinese communist regime created a Gestapo-style secret police agency, with the mission to destroy Falun Gong–by any means necessary.

With the tools of torture and the resources of the worlds most populous nation, then-Chinese President Jiang Zemin thought he could crush Falun Gong in three months. But as history played out, many Falun Gong practitioners were able to not only endure the brutality of the persecution, but turn the tables on the Chinese government by exposing their persecution around the world. This is their story.

NTDTV

Posted in China, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Religion, Religious, Social, Spiritual, Video, World | Comments Off on (video) A Decade of Courage (Part 3)- China’s Hidden Holocaust

(Video) A Decade of Courage (Part 2) – Soul of a Nation

Posted by Author on July 20, 2009


NTDTV, Via Youtube, May 12, 1009 –

After ten years of often-brutal persecution by Chinas Communist authorities, the Chinese spiritual practice Falun Gong remains a visible presence worldwide. Its still practiced, although often in secret, by millions in the Mainland. What makes these people so committed to their beliefs? In A Decade of Courage: Soul of a Nation we look at the rapidly changing, post-Cultural Revolution China in which the practice emerged. We hear the stories of people who came to Falun Gong for various reasons, but who say their lives have been changed as a result. And, ten years after the Communist ban, on the tenth year that practitioners worldwide celebrate May 13th as World Falun Dafa Day, and 17 years after the practice was first spread on May 13th, 1992, we ask what this practice has meant for todays China, and what it will mean for Chinas future.

– NTDTV

Posted in China, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Genocide, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Religion, Religious, Social, Spiritual, Video, World | Comments Off on (Video) A Decade of Courage (Part 2) – Soul of a Nation

(video) A Decade of Courage (Part 1) – The Protest that Changed China

Posted by Author on July 20, 2009


NTDTV, Via Youtube –

Ten years after the Tiananmen Square massacre,10,000 Falun gong practitioners gathered outside China’s central leadership compound in Beijing. They had come to appeal at China’s central appeals office — to appeal for practitioners who had been abused in the city of Tianjin, for thei books, which ahd been banned, and for practitioners all over the country who were being harassed and investigated by the police.

They were met by the Chinese premier, and the arrested practitioners were released. It seemed like the appeal had been successful. But in reality, time was running out, and the brutal crackdown was getting closer and closer.

– NTDTV

Posted in April 25, Beijing, China, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights, News, People, Religion, Religious, Special day, Spiritual, Tiananmen, Video, World | Comments Off on (video) A Decade of Courage (Part 1) – The Protest that Changed China

(photo) Strong message: Ending the Chinese Communist Party is the only way to end the persecution

Posted by Author on July 20, 2009


Following banner appeared in Falun Gong’s anti-persecution parade in Washngton D.C on July 17, 2009.

It says in Chinese: Ending the Chinese Communist Party is the only way to end the persecution

(photo by The Epochtimes)


DC Parade, Banner: Ending the Chinese Communist Party is the only way to end the persecution"

Posted in China, Event, Falun Gong, Human Rights, News, Overseas Chinese, People, Religion, Social, Spiritual, World | Comments Off on (photo) Strong message: Ending the Chinese Communist Party is the only way to end the persecution

Pictures of the Day, July 17 – Falun Gong mark the 10th anniversary of China’s ban

Posted by Author on July 18, 2009


Pictures of the Day, The Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2009-

Hundreds of Falun Gong parishioners meditated through body movements on Washington’s National Mall Thursday to mark the 10th anniversary of China’s ban on the practice.

Hundreds of Falun Gong parishioners meditated through body movements on Washington’s National Mall Thursday to mark the 10th anniversary of China’s ban on the practice.

More photos from The Wall Street Journal’s Pictures of the Day

Posted in China, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights, July 20, News, People, Photo, Religious, Social, Special day, Spiritual, USA, World | 1 Comment »

Iranian Internet lifeline– Chinese Falun Gong’s Software

Posted by Author on June 17, 2009


By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, The New York Times, June 17, 2009 –

The unrest unfolding in Iran is the quintessential 21st-century conflict. On one side are government thugs firing bullets. On the other side are young protesters firing “tweets.”

The protesters’ arsenal, such as those tweets on Twitter.com, depends on the Internet or other communications channels. So the Iranian government is blocking certain Web sites and evicting foreign reporters or keeping them away from the action.

The push to remove witnesses may be the prelude to a Tehran Tiananmen. Yet a secret Internet lifeline remains, and it’s a tribute to the crazy, globalized world we live in. The lifeline was designed by Chinese computer engineers in America to evade Communist Party censorship of a repressed Chinese spiritual group, the Falun Gong.

Today, it is these Chinese supporters of Falun Gong who are the best hope for Iranians trying to reach blocked sites.

“We don’t have the heart to cut off the Iranians,” said Shiyu Zhou, a computer scientist and leader in the Chinese effort, called the Global Internet Freedom Consortium. “But if our servers overload too much, we may have to cut down the traffic.”

Mr. Zhou said that usage of the consortium’s software has tripled in the last week. It set a record on Wednesday of more than 200 million hits from Iran, representing more than 400,000 people.

If President Obama wants to support democratic movements on a shoestring, he should support an “Internet freedom initiative” pending in Congress. This would include $50 million in the appropriations bill for these censorship-evasion technologies. The 21st-century equivalent of the Berlin wall is a cyberbarrier, and we can help puncture it.

Mr. Zhou, the son of a Chinese army general, said that he and his colleagues began to develop such software after the 1999 Chinese government crackdown on Falun Gong (which the authorities denounce as a cult). One result was a free software called Freegate, small enough to carry on a flash drive. It takes a surfer to an overseas server that changes I.P. addresses every second or so, too quickly for a government to block it, and then from there to a banned site.

Freegate amounts to a dissident’s cyberkit. E-mails sent with it can be encrypted. And after a session is complete, a press of a button eliminates any sign that it was used on that computer.

The consortium also makes available variants of the software, such as Ultrasurf, and other software to evade censors is available from Tor Project and the University of Toronto.

Originally, Freegate was available only in Chinese and English, but a growing number of people have been using it in other countries, such as Myanmar. Responding to the growing use of Freegate in Iran, the consortium introduced a Farsi-language version last July — and usage there skyrocketed.

Soon almost as many Iranians were using it as Chinese, straining server capacity (many Chinese are wary of Freegate because of its links to Falun Gong, which even ordinary citizens often distrust). The engineers in the consortium, worrying that the Iran traffic would crash their servers, dropped access in Iran in January but restored it before the Iran election.

“We know the pain of people in closed societies, and we do want to accommodate them,” Mr. Zhou said……. (more from the New York Times)

Posted in Anti-censorship, Asia, break net-block, censorship, China, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, GIFC, Human Rights, Internet, News, Overseas Chinese, People, Politics, Social, Software, Speech, Spiritual, Technology, World | Comments Off on Iranian Internet lifeline– Chinese Falun Gong’s Software

What must be sacrificed for a future in China

Posted by Author on June 4, 2009


By Irwin Cotler and David Grossman, Citizen Special, The Ottawa Citizen, Canada, June 4, 2009 –

Gao Zhisheng rose from poverty to become one of China’s best lawyers — even making the country’s “top 10” list in 2001. He taught himself the law and stood up for justice. He gained fame as a human rights attorney defending China’s otherwise voiceless victims. And the government tolerated him, for a while.

Wang Bingzhang was a prominent lung surgeon in late 1970s China. He was chosen to be among the first Chinese doctors allowed to study abroad — and this is what brought him to Canada’s McGill University. While here, Wang began to appreciate what true freedom felt like.

Both Gao and Wang began their lives thriving in a China that could offer them great personal success — for a price. That price was silence: silence in the face of totalitarian control, silence in the face of systematic human rights abuses, silence in the face of oppression and repression.

Gao and Wang had the option of staying silent and reaping the rewards. But both chose to speak out against injustice.

Gao’s life changed when he started representing Christians and Falun Gong practitioners who were persecuted and tortured in China. He was convicted of “inciting subversion” and, in December 2006, began his new life of constant monitoring, frequent confinement to his apartment, and repeated abductions and beatings — for both him and his family.

The next year, in response to his letter to U.S. Congress, Gao was detained for 59 days, during which time he was severely tortured. The year after that, Gao’s 15-year-old daughter was barred from school, leaving her depressed and suicidal. This prompted Gao’s family to run away to the United States this January; thereafter, Gao — still under 24-hour surveillance by the government — ominously “disappeared.” He was last seen being abducted by police officers in Shaanxi province, and has not been heard from since.

As for Wang, after his experience in Canada in 1979, he worked tirelessly to become the leader of China’s overseas democracy movement. In 2002, while visiting with labour activists in Vietnam, he was forcibly abducted and carried into China, where he was immediately apprehended by police. A closed-door trial — at which Wang was not granted the right to speak, and at which no evidence was presented against him — led to his conviction and sentence of life imprisonment. A 30-minute appeal later confirmed the verdict.

Wang is now in his seventh year of arbitrary detention by China, as confirmed by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. He has suffered three strokes in that time, all suffered while being kept in solitary confinement. His health is rapidly deteriorating and he is plagued by depression.

Wang has a daughter named Ti-Anna, in remembrance of the Tiananmen Square massacre. A Montrealer, she decided to delay her studies at McGill University this year to devote herself to campaigning for her father’s freedom.

After many delays, the Chinese government finally approved Ti-Anna’s visa to visit her father last month under strict conditions. And then, without any explanation, she was turned away at the border; her visa was cancelled. Repeated attempts to obtain a rationale from the Chinese embassy have proven fruitless.

And so this is where we are 20 years after Tiananmen Square. Heroes of democracy and justice, like Gao and Wang, see their rights — and the rights of their loved ones — trampled upon, because they spoke out for what is right. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Canada, China, Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights, June 4, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, Social, Special day, Spiritual, World | Comments Off on What must be sacrificed for a future in China

(Photos) Taiwan: 6000 Members Celebrate World Falun Dafa Day

Posted by Author on May 13, 2009


By Ao Manxiong, Epoch Times Staff, May 10, 2009 –

More than six thousand Falun Gong practitioners gathered at the Puding Prairie in Kenting, southern Taiwan, and did the five Falun Dafa exercises together, May 9, 2009 (The Epochtimes)

More than 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered at the Puding Prairie in Kenting, southern Taiwan, and did the five Falun Dafa exercises together, May 9, 2009 (The Epochtimes)

PINGTUNG, Taiwan— May 13, 2009, is World Falun Dafa Day and the seventeenth anniversary since Falun Dafa‘s founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi, began teaching in China. There will be celebrations all around the world.

Six thousand Falun Gong practitioners in Taiwan gathered at the Puding Prairie in Kenting, in southern Taiwan, on the morning of May 9—lining up to form an image of Mr. Li’s book Zhuan Falun. The activity was to celebrate and commemorate the spread and blessing of Falun Dafa as well as to show their respect and gratefulness to Mr. Li.

May 9, 2009, over six thousand Falun Gong practitioners gathered at the Puding Prairie in Kenting, Taiwan, and lined up to form the book Zhuan Falun.

May 9, 2009, over six thousand Falun Gong practitioners gathered at the Puding Prairie in Kenting, Taiwan, and lined up to form the book Zhuan Falun.

Cheng Chi-Mei, organizer of the activity said, “Lining up to form the book Zhuan Falun is the first time practitioners in Taiwan composed the three Chinese characters ‘Li-Hong-Zhi’ and formed a three-dimensional Zhuan Falun book. Also, we have broken the record with the largest number of people joining in an activity of forming these Chinese characters……. (more details from The Epochtimes)

Posted in Asia, celebration, China, Event, Falun Gong, News, People, Religion, Religious, Social, Special day, Spiritual, Taiwan, World | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

How the Family of A Most Irrepressible Dissident Fled China

Posted by Author on May 9, 2009


By DAVID W. CHEN, New York Times, May 9, 2009 –

Gao Zhisheng
, one of China’s most irrepressible dissidents, began the day of Jan. 9 the same way as most days since security officials had begun watching him around the clock. He and his wife, Geng He, ate a breakfast of soy milk, fried eggs and peanuts. Mr. Gao left the apartment to run some errands.

By the time he returned, his wife and two children were gone. With only the clothes they were wearing, roughly $60 in cash and, out of habit, their keys, the three embarked upon a harrowing odyssey orchestrated by human rights activists that began in the bitter cold of northern Beijing and ended, seven days and some 2,000 miles later, in the humid safety of Thailand.

“I had no time to think,” Ms. Geng, whose children are 16 and 5, said. “I didn’t have a watch. I had no concept of time. All I knew was that we had to move forward. We couldn’t go back.” She spoke during an interview late last month in New York, where she and her children settled after arriving in the United States in March.

Ms. Geng’s tale stands out not just because it involves a cinematic escape, with elements like stalled motorcycles and nonstop travel with little food or sleep. It is remarkable, human rights activists say, because it reveals how China uses family members of dissidents as leverage against them. And it shows the extreme measures a small number of political opponents will take to deny the authorities that leverage. Ms. Geng insists, though, that her husband knew nothing of her plans.

Mr. Gao said in earlier interviews that security officials used threats against his children to extract a humiliating public confession from him in 2006. So the departure of his family gave him greater leeway to challenge the leadership, though at a high cost: he has not been seen or heard from since Feb. 4, when the security forces hauled him away.

His family’s escape upended the way security officials managed the provocative Mr. Gao, a human rights lawyer who has embraced causes including the outlawed spiritual group Falun Gong, displaced urban residents and the Christian underground church. He issued angry manifestos calling for the end of Communist Party rule.

Since his release from prison in 2006, Mr. Gao had been allowed to live a superficially normal life in Beijing. But he was shadowed by plainclothes guards, and he said he felt constrained by the threat of retribution against his family if he violated the terms of his parole.

Though he has not been charged with a new crime, he has vanished altogether since three months ago.

Mr. Gao’s disappearance has become a delicate diplomatic issue ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square democracy movement on June 4. Laura Tischler, a State Department spokeswoman, said that American diplomats had not yet met with Ms. Geng. But she said that a senior American official discussed the case on March 31 with high-ranking Chinese officials in Beijing, and that State Department officials had raised the case, most recently on April 15, with the Chinese Embassy in Washington.

“The United States is deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of well-known human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng,” Ms. Tischler said. “We have raised our concerns about Mr. Gao’s whereabouts and well-being repeatedly, both in Washington and in Beijing.”

Congress is watching, too. With Ms. Geng in the gallery, Senator Byron L. Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, saluted her courage during a Senate floor speech on April 23 and warned that Mr. Gao, a “devout Christian,” had been thrust into an “extremely grave” situation.

“There are many today that languish in dark cells, dark cells of Chinese prisons, just because they spoke out to defend the rights of others,” said Mr. Dorgan, who is the chairman of a Congressional commission responsible for monitoring China’s human rights record. “None have done so more than Mr. Gao.”…… (more detals from New York Times)

Posted in Beijing, China, Dissident, Family, Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights, Lawyer, Life, News, People, Politics, Spiritual, World | 1 Comment »

Chinese arts world-tour show ‘top notch’, says founder of Christian rights group

Posted by Author on January 4, 2009


By Ji Yuan, Epoch Times Staff, Jan 3, 2009 –

LOS ANGELES— Pastor Fu, founder of the China Aid Association, a non-profit Christian organization in the United States to serve the persecuted church and advance religious freedom in China, attended the third Divine Performing Arts (DPA) International Company’s show in Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

After watching the show, he said, “[The way] Divine Performing Arts … is awakening people to learn the truth through arts is very good; once people have faith to God, society can truly make progress.”

Pastor Fu said that he came to watch the performance with recommendation from his friends while he was visiting Los Angeles with his family. He said, “[I am] very glad to see the DPA show on the first day of the New Year; the music and dances are top notch and refreshing.”

As the founder of the China Aid Association, Pastor Fu has long been striving to safeguard human rights and religious freedom of the people in China. He is a prominent pastor and human rights advocate.

Helping people learn the truth through arts

Pastor Fu said that Falun Gong practitioners have been brutally persecuted in China, but many people are not aware of this. “Divine Performing Arts awakens people with art and helps them learn the facts,” he said. For instance, the performance Heaven Awaits Us Despite Persecution reveals the persecution and “helps people to learn the facts in the form of stage play.”

He said that in China, not only Falun Gong practitioners are severely persecuted, but the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) brutally persecutes other religious believers as well, particularly independent religious adherents.

CCP is strongly atheistic

Pastor Fu said that the CCP is strongly atheistic. The so-called five largest patriotic religions in China have actively accepted and followed the lead of the CCP and its brainwashing propaganda.

About the persecution, he said: “We should unite, work for the religious freedom of the entire 1.3 billion Chinese.”

“The sufferings that Falun Gong practitioners have been through in China and their history of the efforts to fight against [the persecution] have become a very important part of the efforts that will make religious freedom come true in China.

“An atheist government will be doing things as they wish and [drive everything] out of control. Therefore, corruption will increase, and the situation will become hopeless.”

Pastor Fu also said that once morality slides and corruption prevails, no doctrines or new ideas would be able to help human beings if they don’t believe in God.

“If humans do not want to be controlled by God, human beings will not be able to save themselves,” he said.

The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of the Divine Performing Arts.

– Source: Founder of the China Aid Association: ‘The music and dances are top notch’ , by the Epochtimes

Posted in China, Christianity, Event, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights, News, People, Religion, Religious, Spiritual, USA, World | Comments Off on Chinese arts world-tour show ‘top notch’, says founder of Christian rights group

Divine Performing Arts show “esthetically extraordinary” and “ethically uplifting”, says U.S Congressman

Posted by Author on December 25, 2008


By Lisa Ou, Epoch Times Staff, Dec 20, 2008 –

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. One of the local luminaries who attended the Divine Performing Arts show in Fort Lauderdale was Lincoln Diaz-Balart, congressman for Florida’s 21st District. Mr. Diaz-Balart was very enthusiastic about the show.

“It is extraordinary. It’s not only esthetically extraordinary but it is also ethically very uplifting. It’s just an extraordinary, extraordinary performance. I feel very, very privileged to be able to see it.”

Congressman Diaz-Balart put the show into a larger perspective: “It is a combination of absolutely lovely arts and it’s very admirable. It’s a very uplifting performance. I wish that everybody could see it. It really reflects the best not only of China, but of humanity, and it’s a wonderful experience.“

Congressman Diaz-Balart addressed the deeper meanings and references to higher matters—fate, truth, good and evil—in many of the songs: “The fact is, some things are eternal, and no matter what the difficulties in this life the truth will prevail, and mankind cannot be destroyed.


(Introduction of the Divine Performing Arts show)

“I was very moved by the song that talked about the damage that atheism has caused and is causing. It was very moving, but all of the performances were moving, uplifting; they teach us about the eternal nature of mankind and of how we have to be humble.

“The songs carry the sense that evil will not prevail, and so the message is that the truth ultimately prevails. It is extraordinarily uplifting and I am so happy to be here.”

Congressman Diaz-Balart explained why, even in these tough economic times, he would recommend that his constituents see the show: “Because it is not only esthetically extraordinary but it is important to remember the message, the ethical message—the message of the eternal nature of truth. I will definitely do everything I can to recommend this performance and I am very happy to see that it’s in other places in Florida as well.

“I saw that it’s in Sarasota, so that’s very good news, and I believe you have a performance in Atlanta also. It’s very important that this performance travels as much as possible throughout the United States.”

The congressman also remarked on how he thought a show based in traditional Chinese culture would go over in Western society.

Congressman Diaz-Balart was confident that all people would understand the message and the meanings:  “The message is eternal, it is truth … What’s so impressive is China’s five thousand years of culture. That puts into perspective the difficulties of the last decades. These times will pass because eternal truth will survive atheism and the difficulties of the 20th Century.

“It is very important that this message gets out because it is truth.”

The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of the Divine Performing Arts 2008-2009 World Tour. Please see http://www.DivinePerformingArts.org for more information.

– Original : Congressman Feels ‘Very, Very Privileged’ To See Show

Posted in China, Chinese Culture, Culture, Dance, Event, News, Spiritual, USA, World | Comments Off on Divine Performing Arts show “esthetically extraordinary” and “ethically uplifting”, says U.S Congressman

China Lawyer’s Defense Letter for the Wife of Persecuted Musician

Posted by Author on November 26, 2008


By Feng Yiran, Epoch Times Staff, Nov 25, 2008 – (excerpt)

Ms. Xu Na, the widow of a well-known musician and Falun Gong adherent who died from abuse in police custody in China last February, has been sentenced to three years in prison on Nov. 25 in Beijing.

Ms. Xu’s defense lawyer Mr. Cheng Hai had pled not guilty on behalf of Xu Na.

Below is an
excerpt of Mr. Cheng’s defense statement to help the public understand the facts and the relevant legal rules regarding Ms. Xu’s case and to offer help to Ms. Xu:

“Chief Judge, judge, and jurors,

My name is Cheng Hai and I am a lawyer from Yitong Law Firm in Beijing City. I’m appointed by defendant Xu Na and her relatives as the defense lawyer for Ms. Xu’s first trial. After researching documents of the case and court investigation, I’m challenging the prosecution with the following defense statements and I would like to ask the panel to please review them when conducting a deliberation.

The accusation from the Chongwen District Procuratorate—“using a heretical organization to undermine implementation of the law,” e.g., spreading cult promotional materials, against the defendant is not based on facts.

The fact presented by the prosecutor in support of the criminal charge against Xu Na is, “At 22:00 p.m. on January 25, 2008, the defendant Xu Na carried with her 53 copies of Falun Gong promotional flyers and 11 copies of Falun Gong promotional CDs and was caught by police while distributing these materials in Chongwen City’s Guoyuanxi Little District, Tongzhou District.” Yet, based on documents presented to the court by the prosecutor, Xu Na’ statements, and cross-examination conducted by the court:

1. The so-called 53 copies of “Falun Gong promotional flyers” are letters which Xu Na was supposed to deliver to Xiang Guilan’s family upon a request by someone. However, Xu Na had no knowledge of the specific contents of the letters or the number of copies.

2. For the so-called 11 copies of “Falun Gong promotional CD’s” carried by Xu Na, the Beijing City Public Security Bureau’s Beijing City Criminal Science and Technology Institute conducted an electronic evidence investigation and concluded that “alleged Falun Gong related data and documents” had been detected, which was mere “allegation” and did not confirm that the contents of the 11 copies of CD’s were indeed Falun Gong promotional materials.

3. Defense lawyer and chief judge Ma together reviewed the 11 copies of CD’s, and also briefly browsed through the 53 copies of letters, and the contents were mostly video recording of a spectacular show, the persecution against Falun Gong followers, number of people who had withdrawn from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and suggestions for people to quit the CCP, all of which are within the boundary of freedom of speech granted by our country’s Constitution.

4. The result of the examination of the CD’s and the 53 copies of letters is totally the subjective observation of the examiners and the investigators, which lacks the specific criteria based on the law or examination standard, and therefore should not be established as evidence.

5. For the accusation of Xu Na’s spreading Falun Gong promotional materials, Xu Na delivered the letters to a family member of Xiang Guilan, and therefore accusing her for “distribution” or “spreading” [of Falun Gong promotional materials] is not based on the facts. Accordingly, Xu Na’s action did not include the fact of “spreading” [Falun Gong promotional materials].

The accusation does not have legal basis.

The accusation stated that Xu Na was sentenced previously for making and spreading “Falun Gong” promotional materials. This time she again spread Falun Gong promotional materials. According to Article 300 of Criminal Law, “using a heretical organization to undermine implementation of the law” invokes criminal charges. And as a repeated offender within 5 years, harsh punishment should be implemented. The defense lawyer considered that the accusation did not specify which law enforcement was disturbed by Xu Na. Therefore it is not based on facts, nor does it have legal basis.

The first trial of this case involved over-extended detention, which should be corrected immediately and enforced with strong measures.

According to Article 168 of Criminal Law, “People’s Court should announce a verdict after one month, and no later than one and half month, after accepting a public case. However, since the Chongwen District Procuratorate transferred the case to the esteemed Procuratorate on June 30, 2008, to the court’s hearing on October 17, Xu Na’s detention had been over-extended for one and half month.

The defense lawyer believes, our country should protect freedom of religion. Falun Gong advocates Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and does not pose any danger to society. Falun Gong should be a new, legal religious form, and its followers’ religious activities should be protected by the law.

In summary, the accusation against Xu Na is not based on facts and does not have legal basis.

Regards

Beijing City Chongwen District Court

First trial defense lawyer: Cheng Hai

October 17, 2008 ”

The Epochtimes

Posted in Beijing, China, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Recommended posts, Religion, Religious, Social, Speech, Spiritual, Women, World | 1 Comment »

A fulcrum to move the dark empire of Communist China– The Nine Commentaries

Posted by Author on November 24, 2008


Spiritual awakening engulfs China, 45,000,000 Chinese people have quit the CCP’s organizations

Editorial, The Epoch Times,  Nov 20, 2008 –

In November of 2004, The Epoch Times published a series of articles titled The Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party (The Nine Commentaries), sparking a spiritual awakening in today’s China.

Humanity’s Greatest Fear Has Always Been The Fear Of Fear Itself

The Nine Commentaries has impacted people on many profound spiritual levels, and has revealed to the Chinese people the truly evil nature of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). As a result, more and more Chinese people have quit the CCP, its Communist Youth League, and its Young Pioneers Team. The psychological burden caused by the evil party has been lifted from people’s shoulders. The number of withdrawal declarations registered on The Epoch Times website has surpassed 45 million.

As a matter of fact, people today publicly condemn the CCP, criticize corrupt party officials and even gather in front of government office compounds shouting slogans such as “Down with the Communist Party.” Such activities have never occurred previously under the CCP’s dictatorship.

People’s minds are changing like an avalanche. This can be seen from the comments of Internet users after the Weng’an incident in Guizhou, police-killing incident by Yang Jia, Sanlu milk powder incident, and the child molestation by Lin Jiaxing. The spiritual awakening of the Chinese people has its historical and practical reasons, however, the impact of The Nine Commentaries cannot be ignored.

The Nine Commentaries have exposed the brutal dictatorship under which the Chinese people were forced to live since the CCP came to power in 1949. The facts quoted in the commentaries tell the story of the real life experiences of suffering and torture of the Chinese people under the CCP. The simple language and logic of these articles have incredible strength. Today, the continued evil activities of the CCP only corroborate the critiques of the commentaries and the lies of the party.

The Nine Commentaries Has Become a Spirit Awakening Movement in Which Tens of Millions of Chinese Participate

Since the publication of The Nine Commentaries in November 2004, 45 million Chinese have renounced their membership in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations on the Tuidang (“Resigning the Party”) website. The Nine Commentaries has flooded China in a short period of time, forming a massive wave of people quitting the CCP.

“Having been deceived by the CCP over the years, I became a member of this evil party. I am fortunate that I have been awakened by The Nine Commentaries and realized that the CCP is the most inhumane power in the history of mankind. It retains its hold on power by using violence to create fear in people. It plunders the wealth of others and controls the minds of its people. I am almost 50 years old. I’ve gone through almost all of the disastrous events since the CCP came to power in 1949. Every fact cited in The Nine Commentaries is true. I regret that I ever joined the party. I now solemnly declare that I quit the CCP.”

The above is a message left by Xian Zheng on the Tuidang website on April 14, 2005. Around thirty to forty thousand similar statements are posted on the website everyday. This event has become an unchangeable tide of history even though the CCP has put tight controls on the Internet and made every effort to suppress the volunteers who work at the Quit CCP Center.

Chinese people, from big city dwellers to the villagers, from the masses of workers, farmers, intellectuals to high-level CCP officials, from state-owned companies leaders to the heads of the 610 organizations (an organization formed to persecute Falun Gong practitioners), have renounced the CCP after they learn about its true evil nature by reading The Nine Commentaries. The book is being discussed and passed on voluntarily by millions of Chinese people. The story of The Nine Commentaries can be found written on the RMB (Chinese currency), utility poles and walls, covering all over the vast land of China.

The Nine Commentaries are not just nine editorials anymore. They have become a spiritual awakening movement in which tens of millions of Chinese voluntarily participate. It not only set off the wave of quitting the CCP, but also illuminated the sky of darkness under which the CCP had forced the Chinese people to live. The fear tactics carefully orchestrated by the CCP for years are gradually diminishing.

Chinese people voiced their discontent on blogs when the uprising took place in Wongan County of Guizhou Province this June. They wrote: “Expel the CCP, Revive traditional China.” “Believe ourselves and rebuild our new Great Wall. Drive the Communist Party back to Siberia, Russia.” “Love the people, not the party.” “Down with fascism. Freedom belongs to the people.” These simple words foretell the complete abandonment of the CCP and the gradual awakening from the CCP’s ideological lies. We are witnessing the beginning of a new era!

‘Give Me A Lever Long Enough And A Fulcrum On Which To Place It And I Shall Move The World

The famous words of the ancient Greek scientist Archimedes apply perfectly for the current situation in China. The Nine Commentaries are becoming the spiritual fulcrum of the Chinese people. They are moving a dark empire based on the violence and lies of communism. They are hoping for a brand new world with brightness, sincerity and tolerance.

This is why we are paying tribute to The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party on its fourth anniversary of publication.

The Epoch Times Editorial Board

Original report: A Tribute To The Fourth Anniversary Of The Nine Commentaries on the Communist  Party

Posted in all Hot Topic, China, Communist Party, Life, News, Party withdrawal, People, Politics, Recommended posts, Social, Spiritual, World | Comments Off on A fulcrum to move the dark empire of Communist China– The Nine Commentaries

China and the Church

Posted by Author on August 13, 2008


FROM TODAY’S WALL STREET JOURNAL ASIA, August 12, 2008-

President Bush attended church in Beijing on Sunday. He worshipped alongside Chinese Christians and sang “Amazing Grace.” But what happened outside the church says more about the state of the millions of Christians in China.

Earlier that morning, the pastor of an illegal underground Christian church, Hua Huiqi, was detained by police as he was biking to the service that Mr. Bush was to attend. His whereabouts are still unknown. Mr. Hua’s brother, who was briefly detained, said Mr. Hua only wanted to worship at the church where he was baptized.

China’s constitution ostensibly allows freedom of religion, but events like this show the real extent of this “freedom.” On the mainland, religion is tolerated only insofar as it is controlled by the state. The only legal churches are those run by the State Administration of Religious Affairs, a government bureau. Those who choose to attend “house” churches — roughly half of China’s Christians — face the prospect of harassment or detention. Dozens of Christians remain under arrest.

The same restrictions apply to other faiths, too. Practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism are routinely “reeducated” by Chinese authorities and asked to denounce the Dalai Lama, whom they regard as their spiritual leader. The practice of Falun Gong, a religion loosely based on Chinese Qi Gong, is banned completely.

During the Olympics, Beijing has bent over backward to put a better face on its religious repression. Athletes have been provided with everything they might need to practice their faith. The Olympic Athletes’ Village has 10,000 Chinese-English Bibles, nearly one for every athlete. There are also worship rooms there for all major faiths, including Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism.

China’s leaders are afraid of religion because they see it as a political threat. Citizens with faith and a moral compass are harder for the Communist Party to control. Mr. Bush gently rebuked China’s religious restrictions as he left the church. “God is universal, and God is love, and no state, man or woman should fear the influence of loving religion.”

– Original: The WALL STREET JOURNAL

Posted in Beijing, China, Christianity, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights, Law, News, Official, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Social, Spiritual, World | Comments Off on China and the Church

Christian in China: Life on the edge (1)

Posted by Author on June 25, 2008


Under threat of arrest, Christian activists in China battle boldly for the freedom to practice their beliefs unfettered by the government.

By Evan Osnos, Tribune correspondent, Chicago Tribune, U.S, Jun. 24, 2008-

JINAN, China – At a highway rest stop just after dawn, Rev. Zhang Mingxuan answered his cell phone and resumed looking for trouble.

“Did you contact the lawyer I mentioned?” Zhang asked the caller, a rural church leader under pressure from his local government. “He will help you.”

The caller was another addition to Zhang’s unprecedented experiment: an alliance of Chinese church leaders, worshipers and public-interest lawyers who share the goal of winning greater rights and recognition for their faith.

With China in the throes of a religious awakening, Christian clerics and worshipers have emerged as an unexpected voice for reform and pluralism. From remote villages to elite universities, Christians form a diverse lobby that is rare in a nation split by class, opportunity and geography.

“Christianity has probably become China’s largest non-governmental organization,” said Li Fan, a leading reform advocate in Beijing who is not a Christian.

Their drive for reform has proved particularly persistent because many Christians consider themselves bound by an authority higher than the government, and their beliefs inspire them to demand greater rights of expression and organization.

“Only by uniting all [unofficial] churches can we preach to all 1.3 billion Chinese people,” said Zhang, a retired barber and grandfather.

Traveling by train and bus from church to church, he serves as a combination pastor-legal adviser. Such activism comes at no small risk. By his count, Zhang has been detained 14 times—most recently just last week.

As China’s Christian population has climbed to an estimated 70 million, a growing number of lawyers and scholars have converted to Christianity and turned their skills to the issue of religious freedom. They are teaming up with churches to challenge the government in court, suing for the rights they believe are guaranteed under China’s constitution.

They take inspiration from the American civil rights movement and the ideals symbolized by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. And they hope that holding the country to account for its pledges of religious freedom will nudge China toward greater respect for its citizens’ other rights as well.

China’s Communist Party is wary of independent-minded movements. When the spiritual group Falun Gong agitated for greater recognition a decade ago, it was declared a cult. Its members have been routinely arrested ever since.

The Christian movement is unlikely to face the same fate. Christianity is permitted under China’s constitution, and the government has long supported a network of official Christian churches. But the future of activism is unclear for those who choose to worship outside the state system, in what the Chinese call “house churches.”

There is unmistakable new freedom to press for religious rights in court, but activists who push too far face arrest. The lines around what is legal are unclear because they hinge largely on how local bureaucrats interpret the nation’s laws on religion. Two churches of the same size and openness, for instance, might face very different fates, because one pastor has sought compromises with local authorities while another has rejected official intrusions.

The laws allow freedom of expression—and wide latitude to curb it.

“The country protects normal religious activities,” said Ma Yuhong, a senior official in charge of Christian affairs under the government’s State Administration for Religious Affairs. “On the other hand, you can’t make use of religion to interfere in the country’s administration.”

Clamping down on the drive for religious rights would not be easy. The government is confronting an uncertain new player: a vast movement for change in the name of God.

“I can accept your leadership,” said Li Jianqiang, a Christian lawyer in the eastern city of Qingdao. “But if you, the Communist Party, directly violate the laws of God, then Christians can only listen to the will of God. They cannot listen to your will.” (to be cont’d……)

– Original from The Chicago Tribune: Jesus in China: Life on the edge

Posted in China, Christianity, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Social, Spiritual, World | Comments Off on Christian in China: Life on the edge (1)

(photos) China Review: 16th Anniversary of Falun Gong’s Introduction to Public

Posted by Author on May 14, 2008


The Epoch Times, May 13, 2008-

Harbin City in Heilongjiang

On May 13, 1992 Falun Gong founder Mr. Li Hongzhi introduced the practice of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, to the general public in mainland China. According to official statistics, in a few short years it grew dramatically in popularity until there were at least 70 million Chinese practitioners.

(photo: people practice Falun Gong in Harbin City, Heilongjiang province, northeast China )

In the wake of the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong (video: Why is Falun Gong persecuted in China), which started on July 20, 1999, the scenes of Falun Gong group practice in mainland China have become events worth recalling. Let us take a look at these historic photographs of Falun Gong group practice in China in celebration of this year’s World Falun Dafa Day.

Beijing Falun Gong practitioners participated in group practice. These photos attest to the popularity of the practice before the persecution.
Above: people practice Falun Gong in Beijing, Capital city of China

Shenyang City in Liaoning Province
Above: people practice Falun Gong in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, northeast China

Weihai City in Shandong Province
Above: people practice Falun Gong in Weihai City, Shandong Province, east China

Shanghai
Above: people practice Falun Gong in Shanghai City, east China

Shenzhen City in Guangdong
Above: people practice Falun Gong in Shenzhen City, Guangdong province, south China
More photos from the Epochtimes

Posted in Beijing, China, City resident, East China, Falun Gong, Guangdong, Harbin, Heilongjiang, history, Life, NE China, News, People, Photo, Religion, Religious, SE China, Shandong, shanghai, Shenzhen, Social, Spiritual, World | Comments Off on (photos) China Review: 16th Anniversary of Falun Gong’s Introduction to Public

China Attorney Defends Falun Gong: Belief Is Not a Crime

Posted by Author on May 10, 2008


By Xin Fei, Epoch Times Staff, May 08, 2008-

On May 6, mainland attorney Wang Yonghang published an article titled “A Make-Up Law Class for Hu and Wen.” The article reads that it is extremely absurd to use “the crime of using an evil cult organization to destroy the law of the country and the implementation of administrative regulations,” to arrest, try, sentence, and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.

Wang is a resident in China’s Northeast Dalian City. On April 30, his wife was detained by the authority for posting a Falun Gong information brochure. He went to the police and asked the police to release his wife unconditionally. “I told them, there is nothing to argue about, because you have arrested a good person, the wrong person,” Wang told The Epoch Times in a phone interview.

Wang’s wife is a graduate student at the Medical Institute of Fudan University studying for a Ph.D. and will graduate next year.

Wang’s wife was arrested by Shanghai police in the morning of April 30. Wang rushed to Shanghai from Dalian the next day. A colleague advised Wang to “persuade his wife to give in.” Wang refused and said, “I am not going to do that, if I wanted to, I would have done it a long time ago.”

Wang went to the police and requested that they immediately release his wife unconditionally. He said, “As an attorney, I know the current persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, one must demand the release in confidence, because they arrested good people, they arrested those whom should not be arrested. Letting them go is something that they have to do.”

About his wife, Wang said, “She has a good personality; she used to be impatient and anxious, but Falun Gong has helped her a great deal. Therefore, I am supportive of her practice of Falun Gong, and strongly oppose the Chinese Communist Party’s suppression of Falun Gong.”

Wang’s Defense of Falun Gong Practitioners

In March, Wang was also retained by the family of a Falun practitioner to appear in court, but was blocked by the authority. He could not even get into the courtroom, not even as an observer. In another case, while in the process of appeal, he was told there was no court session, and that the case ended without a ruling. However it was later heard that the original sentence was sustained during the hearing. These two Falun Gong practitioners, one sentenced to five years in prison because banners were found in his home, and the other was sentenced to three years in prison because he wrote an appeal letter to the Ministry of Public Security.

Wang pointed out that the legal issue of Falun Gong is that during the past nine years, the regime has not allowed Falun Gong believers to talk in court, nor allowed attorneys to defend their innocence. “Generally, Falun Gong practitioners have no right to talk, and they even have difficulty hiring attorneys. As an attorney, I often express my own views, but in vain. Now I am facing my own emergency, I have no alternative but to speak up on overseas’ websites.”

No Law Broken

“Actually, should there be a law, as an attorney, I would not be worried. But in China today, there is no law to speak of when it comes to Falun Gong practitioners.”

“While appealing for my wife, it would be nice if more people get to know my view points. It will be most gratifying to be able to help mainland Falun Gong practitioners and their families.”

According to Wang’s understanding, the so-called crimes on which the authority bases its detention, abduction, conviction, and sentencing of Falun Gong practitioners in mainland China are almost all under Criminal Law 300, “Use of a cult organization to destroy the law of the country and the implementation of administrative regulations.”

Wang pointed out that regardless what Falun Gong practitioners have done and what they have said, such as the hanging of banners, distributing CD’s or pamphlets, regardless how much they have done or how big the impact, not any one of them has broken the “implementation” of any “law, or administrative regulation,” nor is there any implementation of the law or administrative regulation that can be found that was destroyed by any Falun Gong practitioners.

Regime Has No Qualification to Brand Falun Gong a Cult

“As an administrative organization, it has no right to define what is orthodox and what is cult. Much more so, the CCP itself is an atheistic regime, it has no qualification to make a pronouncement of what is orthodox and what is cult, it is obviously absurd.” Wang commented.

Wang said that he was very moved by attorney Gao Zhisheng’s third open letter to the Communist Party leaders. He said, “I cried every time I read it. I cannot figure it out why would such a group of believers suffer such cruel treatment! I began to have some understanding of the problems in this area. Gao is indeed China’s conscience, a remarkable person!”

Since last year, Wang has seen the reality of many problems. Falun Gong practitioners are in a very weak position under the law, the attorneys who provide help and support are mostly not very thorough or profound, and therefore he began to help defend Falun Gong practitioners.

Pitiful Position for Attorneys in China

He told the Epoch Times reporter, “In China, attorneys are in a pitiful position. In the regular civil cases, the role of an attorney is not much to begin with, it is even less in a criminal case. As for Falun Gong cases, no matter how well the attorney defends the case, the influence on the result is miniscule, the court does not believe in your viewpoint from the start.”

– Original report from The Epochtimes: Dalian Attorney Defends Falun Gong: Belief Is Not a Crime

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