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Letter to the Editor: Passive resistance by Falun Gong

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

To the editor:

Please be mindful that the persecution against Falun Gong in China is actually against the Chinese constitution and also international law. It is not Falun Gong that is breaking laws. When practitioners have followed proper channels to forward complaints about ill treatment, they are arrested and subjected to torture. I do not believe this is common practice in the United States.

As far as China making breakthroughs in their policies on religion, the Chinese Communist Party does allow state sanctioned churches, but only those absolutely controlled by the CCP. The Catholic church in China, for example, is under the authority of cardinals appointed by the CCP. They have nothing to do with the worldwide Roman Catholic church under the stewardship of the pope in Rome. Any priest who places the word of God above that of the CCP is subject to harsh penalties. To my mind, that is not a true church.

In America, if any group were breaking the law and that group chose to contest that law, it would have the opportunity to try and change it through peaceful means, as did Martin Luther King Jr.

Falun Gong practitioners also have followed this path, offering only passive resistance to vile treatment and never fighting back. They only have offered their courage in testament to their beliefs of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance.

SHARON KILARSKI, Sleepy Hollow, Ill.