New Report: After 25 Years of Persecution, Chinese Regime Remains Laser-focused on Falun Gong

New York—The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to view eradicating Falun Gong as a critical goal 25 years after launching a violent campaign of persecution against the spiritual group. This prioritization manifests as revitalized campaigns of mass detention and anti-Falun Gong propaganda, according to a report published today by the Falun Dafa Information Center.

The report—titled Falun Gong: 25 Years of Persecution, 25 Years Too Long—examines the current state of the CCP’s suppression of Falun Gong, identifies emerging trends and key tactics deployed by the regime, and highlights recent international action on one of the largest human rights crises in China today.

Drawing on internal Chinese government documents, websites, and speeches, the study finds that within the CCP, Falun Gong remains a key target for suppression, with top officials instructing subordinates to invigorate pursuit of practitioners both in China and overseas.  

“In 1999, the Chinese Communist Party launched a massive campaign to persecute tens of millions of people who simply sought to improve their health, live a more spiritual life, and embrace the core principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance,” says Levi Browde, executive director of the Falun Dafa Information Center and one of the report authors. “As we approach the quarter-century mark of this crusade, the Chinese regime has redoubled its efforts to ‘eradicate’ Falun Gong in China and to attack Falun Gong abroad, especially in the United States.”

Alongside Chinese government documents, the report draws on refugee testimonies, academic studies, human rights group reports, and first-hand accounts transmitted from China to the website. These show that Falun Gong practitioners continue to be detained en masse with thousands taken into custody since January 2022. Hundreds were arrested after high-tech surveillance tools had detected them sharing otherwise censored information about Falun Gong, the CCP, or rights abuses.

Since 2022, over 1,700 Falun Gong practitioners have been sentenced to prison terms of up to 15 years following sham trials. Once detained, these people are often subject to brutal forms of torture and sometimes killed. The number of deaths documented reached 5,069 in May 2024, with over 360 practitioners killed since January 2022.

Meanwhile, new research and recent accounts by Falun Gong survivors add to prior evidence that Falun Gong practitioners have been, and continue to be, killed so that their organs can be used to supply China’s organ transplant industry.

Even as it exploits Falun Gong prisoners, the CCP is investing significant resources to demonize Falun Gong and recruit ordinary Chinese citizens to aid in the persecution. These efforts include a nationwide campaign launched last year using the ubiquitous WeChat app to spread falsehoods about Falun Gong and gather petition signatures, including from schoolchildren. Local governments in multiple provinces have offered monetary rewards that reach thousands of dollars to those who report neighbors who practice Falun Gong or disseminate information about the practice or the CCP’s brutality.

“Through these new initiatives, the regime is implicitly admitting to an embarrassing reality—its efforts to wipe out Falun Gong have categorically failed,” says Browde. “On the contrary, the repressive campaign has galvanized tens of millions of ordinary people into becoming grassroots human rights and freedom of information activists.”

Reinvigorating the “overseas struggle”

The CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong believers has not been confined to China’s borders.The regime is also engaged in an extensive transnational repression campaign that includes physical assaults, diplomatic pressure, and economic coercion. Such actions target both individual practitioners and entities like Shen Yun Performing Arts, a classical Chinese dance company many of whose performers practice Falun Gong.  

Likewise, the propaganda used to demonize Falun Gong inside China has been aggressively pushed by the regime abroad, including on social media platforms, while major Western media outlets have even repeated CCP falsehoods about the practice.

“As Falun Gong practitioners continue to face deadly persecution, the CCP’s use of propaganda within China and internationally has proven to be both sophisticated and disturbingly effective,” says Browde. “The regime appears to be investing growing resources in this aspect of its anti-Falun Gong campaign, so it is vital that the international community see through these attempts lest the CCP succeed in hindering concrete action to stop the persecution and save lives.”

In spite of the regime’s efforts to undermine global sympathy for Falun Gong, the report finds that international responses to counter the persecution have been gaining momentum. It spotlights expressions of support offered to Falun Gong victims by government officials from numerous countries and across the political spectrum. It also recognizes recent policy steps taken in the United States, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific that include imposing sanctions on Chinese officials, adopting laws limiting complicity in organ transplant abuses, and prosecuting individuals who engaged in transnational repression against Falun Gong practitioners.

The report offers detailed recommendations to policymakers and civil society in the United States and other democracies on how to further counter the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong in China and beyond the country’s borders.

Read the full report here.

To interview the report authors or to request a private briefing, email [email protected].