(Minghui.org) The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) released a statement on April 25, 2024 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of April 25 appeal and urged the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to end the persecution of Falun Gong.

The statement reads, “25 years ago today, Falun Gong practitioners gathered peacefully in Beijing, asking to freely practice their religion. Instead, the Chinese Communist Party launched a campaign of detention, torture, and harassment. The PRC must end its quarter-century long persecution of Falun Gong.”

At noon on April 23, 2024, Falun Gong practitioners in Washington, DC screened a film at the Rayburn Office Building of the House of Representatives to help congressional staff and others in Washington learn about the CCP’s persecution. Piero Tozzi, director of the CECC Human Resources Department, said, “The film generally accurately depicts the initial persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist Party and is convincing.”

CECC Chair Chris Smith (left), a Republican Representative, and co-chair Jeff Merkley (right), a Democratic Senator
CECC statement


Background: What Is the April 25 Appeal?

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 worldwide. Millions of people have embraced the teachings—which are based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance as well as five gentle exercises—and experienced improved health and well-being.

On April 23 & 24, 1999, police officials in Tianjin, a city near Beijing, assaulted and arrested dozens of practitioners who had gathered outside a magazine office to discuss errors in a recently-published article attacking Falun Dafa. As word spread of the arrests and more practitioners inquired with officials, they were told they had to take their appeals to Beijing.

The following day, April 25, some 10,000 Falun Dafa practitioners spontaneously gathered at the Central Appeals office in Beijing, as they had been instructed by Tianjin officials. The gathering was peaceful and orderly. Several Falun Dafa representatives were called in to meet with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji and members of his staff. That evening, practitioners’ concerns were answered. The arrested practitioners in Tianjin were released and everyone went home.

Jiang Zemin, former head of the CCP, perceived the spiritual discipline’s growing popularity as a threat to the CCP’s atheistic ideology and issued an order to ban Falun Dafa on July 20, 1999.

Minghui.org has confirmed the deaths of thousands of practitioners due to the persecution over the years. However, due to the difficulty in getting information out of China, the actual number is suspected to be much higher. Many more 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 the organ transplant industry.