The following text was delivered at Rally for Freedom in China at the U.S. Capitol, July 14, 2011.
The Falun Gong have experienced intense persecution in China.
Thank you to all of the organizers of this wonderful rally. This annual event reminds us so powerfully of the terrible violations of human rights committed by the Chinese regime. But it also reminds us of the solidarity that we have together for those who are being persecuted in China.
I am honored to be at the U.S. Capitol with you and to assure you of the Institute on Religion & Democracy’s continuing commitment to work for the human rights and religious freedom of all who are oppressed by the Chinese Communist Party.
As you know, this is the 12th anniversary of the start of virulent persecution against the Falun Gong in China. It is also another year of persecution against Christians, the Uyghur, and the Tibetans. Outwardly, it does not look as if much has changed:
- Reports from China indicate that 26 Falun Gong practitioners died at the hands of government authorities in just the first four months of 2011. Most were victims of “brainwashing centers,” brutal torture, and inhuman deprivation.
- Among the reports on Christian persecution is the crackdown on Shouwang Church, one of Beijing’s largest house churches. The over 1,000 members of Shouwang Church, mostly urban professionals, are blocked from worship, leadership is under house arrest, and two church members have been expelled from Beijing.
And yet we do not give up, or as the Bible says in the Book of Galatians, we do not “weary in well-doing.” What it actually says is: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Our friends and brothers and sisters in China are under such tremendous persecution, we CAN NOT faint in our advocacy for them. In 1998 the television show “Touched By An Angel” featured a story about human rights in China. In the story, a young woman, Jean Chang, has been arrested by the Chinese authorities for her participation in Tiananmen Square. She is being beaten by other prisoners. But Monica, the angel, puts herself between the woman and her attackers, receiving the blows herself. It is a picture of God’s intervention – a miracle, but it is also a picture of advocacy. Just as Jean would have received the deadly blows if Monica had wearied of taking them herself, our brothers and sisters in China would receive the deadly blows that result from inaction and apathy, if we were to weary in our fight for them.
But this is not the case. We continue to fight. A new opportunity for advocacy is Senate Resolution 232, introduced just yesterday by Senator Menendez and Senator Coburn. Now this resolution needs co-sponsors. Members of the U.S. Senate need to hear from you, need to hear that you are not weary in well-doing, and that they must become co-sponsors of this resolution. The resolution states that in the past seven years over 90,000,000 people have renounced the Communist Party to seek a better way. Let us continue to do advocacy well for Falun Gong and for all of the persecuted and oppressed in China, and we will reap a harvest even greater than that of the 90,000,000 who have already left the Chinese Communist Party.