US/CHINA- US Lawmakers Call for End to 20 Year Long Persecution of Falun Gong

WASHINGTON—Despite the stuffy summer humidity, about 2,000 people donning yellow shirts congregated at Capitol Hill on July 18 to call for an end to the persecution of the spiritual practice Falun Gong in China.

July 20 marks 20 years since the Chinese communist regime launched its sweeping campaign to eradicate Falun Gong, an ancient Chinese meditation practice. In 1999, official estimates placed the number of adherents at 70 million to 100 million.

Since then, waves of Falun Gong practitioners have been sent to prisons, labor camps, brainwashing centers, and other detention facilities, where many have been tortured in an effort to force them to renounce their faith. At any given time, 450,000 to 1 million adherents are incarcerated, according to estimates by the Falun Dafa Information Center.

Every year since 2000, practitioners from across the country and around the world have gathered in the nation’s capital to commemorate the anniversary of the persecution.