[Documents menu] Documents menu

China sets up anti-Falungong group

The Straits Times, 24 December 2000; 01:25 PM—Singapore Time

BEIJING -- China has set up a semi-official anti-cult association aimed at opposing spiritual groups such as the Falungong and supporting the government's brutal crackdown on the group, state press reported on Sunday.

The China Anti-Cult Association held its first-ever seminar this weekend, gathering around 100 Chinese politicians, legal experts, scientists and religious leaders in a round table discussion condemning the Falungong, the People's Daily reported.

The association, which was set up last month, also announced the opening of its website (www.anticult.org), which contained official government and state-run press condemnations of the outlawed spiritual group.

The site, however, offered no information on the numbers of cult members arrested or the resources expended by the state in maintaining the nationwide crackdown.

Falungong is a traditional Chinese mystic belief based on the teachings of the exiled Li Hongzhi, who advocates Confucian and Buddhist moral values and group breathing and meditation exercises.

While the 17 month repression on the Falungong has been widely criticised by international pressure groups, the seminar unsurprisingly concluded the banning of the sect was in fact an effort by the government to safeguard human rights.

A statement from the seminar said: To oppose religious cults and safeguard human rights has become the common task of every government and people of the world.

The banning of the Falungong religious cult by our nation's government is completely aimed at safeguarding and maintaining human rights. . .and has offered beneficial experience on safeguarding human rights to all countries opposed to cults.—AFP