Sixteen years is a long time, and many things have happened during that time. While being brutally persecuted, how strong would someone have to be to persist in protecting their faith?
April 25 marked the 16th anniversary of a remarkable appeal for freedom of belief in China that occurred in 1999.
That date evokes strong memories for those among the 10,000 who went to the appeals office near Zhongnanhai, the central government compound in Beijing, to ask the authorities to release Falun Gong practitioners arrested in the nearby city of Tianjin, and to allow people to practice their beliefs without fear or harassment.
Here we have translated some important parts of the interview for you.
Great compassion and tolerance
While personally supporting the anti-persecution activities, Tang witnessed the demeanor of Falun Gong practitioners, who cultivate Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.
“The extent of the brutality of the Chinese Communist Party‘s persecution toward Falun Gong—be it from the aspect of the number of people, time span, or geographical breadth—is unprecedented in human history.
“It is even more severe than the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis during World War Ⅱ. The most common means of killing Jews during World War II were poison gas and shooting, while the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong is even more appalling, especially its nationwide systematic live organ harvesting, which is still happening now.
“In the beginning, people couldn’t believe what the Nazis did to Jews. And at the end, people vowed never to allow such a tragedy to happen again. However, hundreds of millions of Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted in China, and it has lasted so long. This is extremely sad.”
What impressed Tang is that these meditators did not yield. Instead, practitioners in China and overseas started taking peaceful action against the persecution. The breadth and intensity of the anti-persecution is also unprecedented.
He said: “I am one of the most experienced witnesses of Falun Gong practitioners’ upholding their peaceful and rational anti-persecution.”
Tang was present at the “Flushing incident,” when the Party bought off some overseas Chinese to slander and assault Falun Gong adherents in New York City in 2008.
He was right there next to the practitioners when they were surrounded and verbally abused by about a dozen thugs. However, they did not flinch or retort. Instead, they told the truth about the evil persecution to those men with calm smiles on their faces. “I was very moved and impressed,” Tang said.
Peaceful disintegration of the CCP
In November 2004, Epoch Times published the editorial series Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, triggering Chinese people around the world to make the “three withdrawals” (from the Young Pioneers, Youth League, and Communist Party).
“Now, the number of withdrawals has exceeded 200 million people, and it is growing even faster. The Party’s tyranny will soon be over, and it could collapse at any moment.”
Tang believes that this Tuidang movement is the most effective civil spiritual awakening since the 1989 Tiananmen democracy movement, and that it will disintegrate the CCP peacefully without firing a single shot.
“Falun Gong practitioners have been spreading the truth in Mainland China without fear of life and death. It is their contribution and sacrifice that make possible a peaceful transition to a new China without the Communist Party,” Tang added.
Chinese people’s dignity restored
What impresses Tang the most is that Falun Gong has given back dignity to Chinese around the world.
Since taking power, the Party has kept holding political campaigns, such as the Cultural Revolution, after which Chinese people’s morality had almost been destroyed.
Tang explained that some people’s social position seemed very high. They were arrogant in public, but at the same time kowtowed like slaves in front of their superiors. Their human dignity was completely lost.
“However, when facing brutal repression by the state, Falun Gong practitioners dared to resist. They are neither haughty nor humble, persevering indomitably and sticking to their principles, which sets an example for modern citizens.
The anti-persecution by Falun Gong displays their dignity, and proves that not all Chinese people are slaves.
Finally, Tang believes that this group of people have laid a solid moral foundation for a future democratic China, and they are the hope for China’s future.