(Minghui.org) The International Religious Freedom Roundtable recently held a meeting in the U.S. State Department building on December 7, 2023. Representatives of the Falun Dafa Association of Washington, D.C. addressed the meeting, and described how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has tried to interfere with Shen Yun performances around the world over the years.
The International Religious Freedom Roundtable, a non-governmental organisation located in Washington, DC, holds weekly meetings to provide a platform for religious and belief groups from around the world to share information and exchange ideas. Representatives from various relevant U.S. government agencies participate.
Because Human Rights Day is on December 10, the U.S. State Department hosted this week’s meeting in its own building to highlight its attention to international religious freedom. The meeting was attended by representatives from dozens of organisations from various religions and beliefs.
Rashad Hussein, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, and staff from the State Department’s Office of Religious Freedom, representatives from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and the United States Agency for International Development also attended the meeting and listened as representatives of various organisations spoke.
A representative for Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) practitioners said, “The Chinese Communist Party has been brutally persecuting Falun Gong for 24 years. It was confirmed that more than 5,000 practitioners have died due to the persecution in China. The actual number is believed to be much higher. There are also a large number of practitioners killed due to the CCP’s live organ harvesting. The CCP’s transnational suppression of Falun Dafa is also rampant. The most typical case is the CCP’s interference with Shen Yun performances around the world.”
The representative said that Shen Yun was founded in New York by artists who practice Falun Dafa. Its purpose is to revive and promote China’s 5,000-year-old traditional culture through Chinese classical dance and music. China’s traditional culture has been the target of the atheistic CCP for more than 70 years. Shen Yun is now the world’s premiere Chinese classical dance company, and tours more than 150 cities on five continents every year, and is widely praised by artists of all ethnic groups and people from all over the world.
The representative pointed out, “However, the CCP targets Shen Yun and spares no effort to disrupt and destroy it. According to records on a website, at least 70 incidents of sabotage have occurred in 25 countries, including break-ins and stealing Shen Yun artists’ computers, slashing tires on Shen Yun buses, cyberattacks on Shen Yun ticketing websites, mobilising online commentators to post negative comments about Shen Yun, etc.
“In addition, in all countries where Shen Yun performances are held, the Chinese embassies and consulates, without exception, send this message to theaters, media advertisers, and governments: ‘If you allow Shen Yun performances, your political and economic relations with China will be seriously damaged; your theaters and art companies will no longer be able to do business with China, and relevant individuals will not be able to obtain entry visas to China.’”
The representative explained, “Unfortunately, in the past decade or so, in some countries, Shen Yun performances were canceled due to the CCP’s sabotage, which not only caused huge economic losses to Shen Yun, but also deprived a large number of people of the opportunity to watch Shen Yun.”
The representative also specifically mentioned that in South Korea, the Chinese embassy and consulates particularly created difficulties for the local Shen Yun presenter to apply for theaters.
Also very concerning is that the CCP directed pro-Communist overseas Chinese community leaders to bribe a U.S. tax official to attempt to harm Shen Yun. These agents were monitored and investigated by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and were eventually arrested in May this year.
The representative pointed out, “Around the world, the CCP not only attempts to infiltrate and sabotage the political, economic, technological, and other fields, but also attempts to control what performances people in other countries can and cannot watch in the artistic field. This shows its shameless nature. Democratic government and kind-hearted people must be vigilant.”
Finally, the representative hoped that the attendees would have an increased awareness of the evil nature of the CCP, and called on the U.S. State Department to provide more support and protection for Shen Yun Performing Arts’ overseas performances.
Background: What Is Falun Dafa and Why Is the CCP Persecuting It?
Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) was first introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in Changchun, China, in 1992. The spiritual discipline is now practiced in over 100 countries and regions worldwide.
Millions of people who have embraced the teachings, which are based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, and have learned the five exercises have experienced improved health and well-being.
Jiang Zemin, former head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), perceived the spiritual discipline’s growing popularity as a threat to the CCP’s atheistic ideology, and on July 20, 1999, he issued an order to eradicate the practice.
Under Jiang’s personal direction, the CCP established the 610 Office, an extralegal security organisation with the power to override the police and judicial systems and whose sole function is to carry out the persecution of Falun Dafa.
Minghui.org has confirmed the deaths of thousands of practitioners as a result of the persecution over the past 24 years, though due to the difficulty in getting information out of China, the actual number is believed to be much higher. Countless practitioners have been imprisoned and tortured for their faith.
There is concrete evidence that the CCP sanctions the harvesting of organs from detained practitioners, who are murdered to supply China’s organ transplant industry.
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