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Devotion, Ideology, And Evil Cults: Persecution Of The Falun Gong By The Chinese Government

3876 words - 16 pages

The Communist Party of China (CCP), in power since 1950, is not famous for its tolerance of those who do not agree with its ideology and opinion. People must adhere to the Party’s legislation, and face consequences (the severity of which is debated) if they resist or rebel. One way the CCP controls members is through religion. Although the government encourages almost cult-like devotion to the Party, it allows its constituents to participate in certain major international religions. One religion that is illegal to participate in under Chinese law is the spiritual practice of Falun Gong. A new movement, the Falun Gong grew quickly in China and globally, and was officially banned in 1999. The CCP claims the Falun Gong is evil, and should be destroyed humanely to save China. However, the Falun Gong is peaceful, and the Chinese government is the institution that tortures, jails, and abuses its citizens if they are practitioners of the religion. The international response calls for the halting of these immoral actions, but China still claims that it is destroying an evil institution. The simple fact China denies its members freedom of religion violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which China has signed, but the violence against its people if they adhere to Falun Gong beliefs is a gross abuse of its power. Although China bans many religions, there is special emphasis on the Falun Gong, and many wonder why. One highly possible reason is that the growth, international reach, and popularity of the Falun Gong threatens the universal power the CCP holds in China, weakening the government, and therefore leading to the destruction of the threat: the Falun Gong.
The Falun Gong, despite what the CCP may say, is not an evil institution, and its members do not deserve the punishments the government enacts upon them. Examining the movement’s history and beliefs reveal that it has no immoral intentions. It was founded in 1992 by Li Hongzhi, with a basis in Chinese spiritual traditions like Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism (Zhu, 2010, p. 471). All three of the religions Falun Gong is based on are known as peaceful religions, and the Falun Gong follows the same pattern. It encourages members to have “truthfulness, forbearance and compassion” (Beaumont, 2009). The movement focuses on mastering the art of “Qigong”, which is mastering the universe’s natural energy, “qi”, through mediation, exercise, and “gong”, or practice, to make people healthier (Lai, 2010, p. 168). Although some people disapprove of this “New Age” style of religion, they do so because they doubt the benefits it promises, not because New Age is inherently evil. They are like moderate atheists to traditional Judaeo-Christian religions; maybe disapproving, definitely non-believers, but willing to let people practice. The CCP are radical, frothing at the mouth atheists in this sense, advocating violence and forcing people to believe what it does: the Falun Gong are evil.
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